Freedom of Character: Creating a Constitutional Character Evidence Test
University of South Carolina School of Law
August 5, 2014
Carolina Academic Press Book, Forthcoming
This essay seeks to fill a scholarly and judicial void by proposing a First Amendment test that courts should apply when prosecutors seek to introduce defendants’ speech as character evidence. Under this constitutional character evidence test, assuming that the defendant can prove that his words are protected under the First Amendment, the prosecution would have to do more than simply satisfy the rules of evidence; it would also have to prove that application of the rules of evidence to the defendant’s words is narrowly tailored to advance a compelling state interest.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Character Evidence, First Amendment
JEL Classification: K40, K42
Date posted: August 7, 2014
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