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Character in the Criminal Trial$
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Mike Redmayne

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228898.001.0001

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The Ethics of Character Evidence

The Ethics of Character Evidence

(p.64) 4 The Ethics of Character Evidence
Character in the Criminal Trial

Mike Redmayne

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the moral arguments against the use of bad character evidence in a criminal trial. It begins by looking at one of the challenges faced by these moral arguments: the need to explain their own defeasibility or limited applicability. It then examines moral accounts, all of which seem to revolve around the central theme of the significance of desistance from crime. The chapter concludes that arguments which have been put forward for a ‘moralized’ exclusionary rule are unconvincing.

Keywords:   criminal trials, defendants, character evidence, exclusionary rule, bad character

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