Although a court may take “judicial notice” of commonly known facts, the government must still prove every element of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is reversible error for the trial judge to prohibit the defendant from testifying that he was acting in self-defense when the court had already concluded that the arresting officer had not used excessive force.
Like “reading the white space” on a police report (that is, focusing on what is NOT included), the “missing evidence” jury instruction “essentially creates evidence from non-evidence.”
Everything you need to know about clearing, expunging or sealing your criminal record in anticipation of background check for employment, adoption, immigration, volunteer opportunity or gun license.
When it Comes To Self-Defense, it is the Immediacy of the Response Needed, Not the Immediacy of the Threat
Words in the law do not always mean what their dictionary definitions say they mean. With respect to a prior consistent statement, for example, it is not really, as suggested by the rule, that such a statement must… Read More
A court accepts a well-known and indisputable fact without taking the time and trouble of requiring a party to prove it. What could be more straightforward, more commonsensical, than that? As McCormick puts it, the “oldest and plainest… Read More
Motive. It is really big on TV shows. At the same time, if you listen to Wayne LaFave, it is completely irrelevant when it comes to substantive criminal law: The government is not required to prove motive in… Read More
Translated into English, actus no facit reum nisi mens sit rea means that “an act does not make one guilty unless his mind is guilty.” In other words, it is not enough for the government to prove a… Read More
You are sitting in a legally parked car on the side of the road minding your own business when a police car pulls in directly behind you and activates its overhead lights. How many people would feel that… Read More
You take a worthwhile social goal – protecting domestic partners from abuse – and then you contort the U.S. Constitution to achieve that goal. In the days of Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56 (1980), the testimony came in… Read More