Trials and evidentiary hearings often include character evidence in its various forms, much of which seems to be elicited without thought to its actual admissibility. What follows is a brief primer on the admissibility of character evidence in criminal proceedings.
The term "character" refers to a generalized description of a person’s disposition or a general trait of that person’s disposition, such as for peacefulness, chastity or truthfulness. Reputation is a community’s estimation of a person’s character.
Generally, evidence of character may not be admitted in criminal cases to prove that on a specific occasion a person acted in conformity with the propensity or character trait.1 Thus the dishonest character of a defendant charged with theft may not generally be offered by the prosecution to support the inference that the defendant acted in conformity with this character trait, and therefore committed the crime in question. Obviously, the policy for excluding such evidence is not based upon relevancy. Evidence of a theft defendant’s dishonest character would undoubtedly be probative, as one might reasonably assume that thefts are more frequently committed by a person with a dishonest character.2 The rationale for disallowing such character evidence, rather, is the substantial risk that a verdict would be predicated on the trier of fact’s attitude toward a person’s character, rather than upon an objective determination of the facts.3
EXCEPTIONS ALLOWING CHARACTER EVIDENCE
As with most general rules of evidence, several exceptions to the general rule barring character evidence have evolved in Illinois law.
A. Character of the Accused When First Introduced by the Accused
The defendant in a criminal case may introduce evidence of his own relevant character traits.4 Evidence supporting a defendant’s pertinent character is admissible to establish that, on the particular occasion involving the facts of the charged offense, the defendant acted in conformity with this pertinent character trait, and thus did not commit the crime in question. The defendant may introduce such evidence regardless of whether he or she testifies.5
Pertinent character traits are dictated by the underlying criminal charge.6 For example, in a trial for murder or any crime of violence, the defendant may introduce evidence of his own peaceable character, but should not be allowed to introduce evidence of his honesty or chastity. Furthermore, evidence that speaks to the defendant’s character at the time or close in time to when the alleged offense occurred will be more probative than character evidence from a more remote time.7
Significantly, the defendant is limited to the use of reputation evidence in introducing his own pertinent character trait. Evidence of specific acts related to the character trait is inadmissible. The rule barring a defendant from introducing specific acts to prove character precludes a defendant from introducing evidence that he has never been previously arrested or convicted of a crime.8
Now, once a defendant raises the issue of his character in the first instance, the prosecution may then attempt to rebut the positive character evidence with its own character witnesses who can testify to the defendant’s poor reputation for the same character trait.9 These rebuttal witnesses are likewise limited to testimony in the form of reputation, and may not refer to specific acts that belie the proffered character trait.10
Of course, the prosecution may not simply cross-examine a criminal defendant about his good character in the first instance (e.g., "You think you’re a generally peaceable guy, don’t you?") and then put on a rebuttal witness who will testify to the defendant’s bad character.11 Only when a criminal defendant volunteers his own reputation for a character trait will the prosecution be able to introduce contrary reputation evidence in rebuttal.
As indicated previously, except where a defendant is charged with a crime of dishonesty, that defendant may not introduce reputation evidence for truthfulness in the first instance because it is irrelevant. Be aware, however, that impeachment of a defendant by a prior conviction will open the door to rebuttal evidence of defendant’s reputation for truthfulness.12 Likewise, where the prosecutor calls a defendant’s veracity into question on cross-examination, either by eliciting self-contradictions or by way of prior inconsistent statements, he may be permitted to introduce rebuttal evidence of his reputation for truthfulness.13 Before allowing rebuttal evidence for truthfulness after such a cross-examination, the trial court must first determine whether the net effect of the cross-examination constituted a direct attack on the defendant’s character for truthfulness.14
A different answer obtains where the prosecution instead challenges the veracity of a defendant through the introduction of testimonial or physical evidence that happens to contradict a defendant’s version of events. Such contradictory evidence does not allow a defendant to then introduce reputation evidence for truthfulness in rebuttal.15
B. Character of the Victim Introduced by the Defendant
1. General Rule.
While the prosecution may not introduce evidence of the victim’s character in the first instance, the defense may offer pertinent evidence of a victim’s character at trial.16 As a general rule, said evidence must be by way of reputation evidence, and specific acts to show the character trait in question are prohibited.17 When the defense introduces pertinent evidence of a victim’s character at trial, the prosecution may introduce contrary reputation evidence concerning this same character trait in rebuttal.
2. Self-Defense Cases
A somewhat complicated body of law has evolved concerning the admissibility of a victim’s character for violence in cases where self-defense is asserted. The rules are neither intuitive nor logical, and simply must be memorized by the criminal law practitioner.
(a) Victim’s reputation for violence. As a general matter, where self-defense is raised, a defendant may introduce evidence that the victim had a reputation for being a violent person.18 Before being allowed to introduce evidence of the victim’s reputation for violence, however, a defendant must introduce "some evidence" of self-defense; the mere fact that a defendant asserts self-defense will be insufficient.19
If a victim’s purported reputation for violence was known to the defendant prior to the charged offense, such knowledge is admissible to infer that he reasonable feared bodily harm.20 Even where a defendant was unaware of the victim’s purported reputation for violence, however, such evidence is admissible to support the inference that the victim was more probably the aggressor.21
(b) Specific instances of violence. Furthermore, where there is conflicting evidence whether the victim was the aggressor, specific acts of violent conduct by the victim are admissible to support the inference that the victim acted in accordance with this past conduct, regardless of whether the defendant was aware of the specific acts in question.22 To the extent the defendant can show he was aware of the specific acts, he may additionally argue that they factored into his reasonable apprehension of harm.23
It should be noted that relevance, probity and undue prejudice are still valid objections to specific violent acts evidence offered in self-defense cases. For example, cases have held: evidence of violence to a child 25 years earlier not relevant;24 gang membership not probative as to character for violence;25 possession of a handgun found during protective pat down search in disorderly conduct case not probative;26 and the violent character of an armed robbery victim inadmissible to show the victim did not feel subjectively threatened by the defendant’s actions.27
It is also critical to remember that evidence of specific acts is prohibited where there is no dispute either: (1) that the victim was not the aggressor;28 or (2) that the victim was the aggressor.29 Also, do not forget that even though a defendant presents evidence of the victim’s reputation for or specific instances of violence at trial, the prosecution remains barred from introducing the defendant’s reputation for violence in the first instance.
(c) Rebuttal Evidence of Victim’s Reputation for Peacefulness. While the prosecution may rebut both reputation evidence and specific acts evidence of the victim’s character for violence, it may do so using only reputation evidence of the victim’s peacefulness.30 Specific acts of peacefulness are inadmissible.
3. Character of Sex Victims/Rape Shield
In the (not so) old days, a defendant who was charged with the rape of an adult victim, and who claimed consent, could introduce evidence of the complaining witness’s unchaste sexual character as proof of consent.31 Today, evidence of a rape victim’s reputation for chastity or specific sexual activity is prohibited by 725 ILCS 5/115-7 et seq., except that a defendant may introduce evidence of sexual conduct with the same victim as proof of consent to the charged sexual activity.32
Pursuant to Section 115-7(a)(1), " the prior sexual activity or the reputation of the alleged victim . . . is inadmissible except . . . as evidence concerning the past sexual conduct of the alleged victim . . . with the accused when this evidence is offered by the accused upon the issue of whether the alleged victim consented to the sexual conduct . . . alleged[.]"33
Further, no evidence admissible [under Section 5/115-7(a)(1)] shall be introduced unless ruled admissible by the trial judge after an offer of proof has been made at a hearing to be held in camera in order to determine whether the defense has evidence to impeach the witness in the event that prior sexual activity with the defendant is denied.34 The offer of proof must include reasonably specific information as to the date, time and place of the past sexual conduct between the alleged victim and the defendant.35 Unless the court finds that reasonably specific information as to date, time or place, or some combination thereof, has been offered about the prior sexual activity with the defendant, the defendant will be barred from introducing evidence of the prior sexual activity.36
Additionally, "[t]he court shall not admit evidence under [Section 5/115-7] unless it determines at the hearing that the evidence is relevant and the probative value of the evidence outweighs the danger of unfair prejudice."37
The Rape Shield Act does contain an important exception allowing evidence of sexual conduct with third parties where "constitutionally required to be admitted."38 Situations where courts have determined that such evidence was admissible on the grounds that it was relevant and necessary to preserve a defendant’s constitutional rights include: prior sexual activity of a child victim to show that age-inappropriate sexual knowledge did not derive from acts with defendant39; instances of prior sexual activity to explain the presence of semen in the complainant40; and a conversation where complainant revealed to defendant, immediately prior to the alleged assault, that she had recently had an abortion to show the closeness of the relationship.41 In relying upon the foregoing cases to allow sexual conduct evidence otherwise barred by the Rape Shield, proponents should consider the Illinois Supreme Court’s most recent pronouncement on the "constitutionally required" exception in People v. Santos.42
C. Character of Testifying Witnesses for Veracity, Including Defendants and Victims
1. General Rule
Any party may impeach a witness with that witness’s reputation for untruthfulness.43 Such impeachment is limited to the character trait of veracity.44
This rule is significant not only as it relates to witnesses in general, but keep in mind it applies equally to a defendant who takes the stand.45 In this situation it is the defendant’s veracity, not any other character trait, which is placed at issue. A victim who takes the stand is similarly subject to such impeachment.46 And this includes child witnesses, though where the child has yet to garner a "reputation" for veracity, specific instances of untruthfulness remain inadmissible.47
2. Impeachment by Adult Convictions
Where a defendant or any other witness takes the stand, that individual may be impeached as to veracity by proof of prior convictions if certain conditions are met.
The admission of a prior conviction to impeach the credibility of a witness is governed by the test established in People v. Montgomery.48 For the purposes of attacking credibility, evidence of a prior conviction is admissible if: (1) the crime was punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year, or the crime involved dishonesty or false statement regardless of the punishment; (2) less than 10 years have elapsed since either the conviction or the witness’s release from confinement, whichever is later; and (3) the probative value of the conviction outweighs the danger of unfair prejudice.49
In calculating the ten-year period, the relevant outside date is the date of the testimony, and not the date of the offense charged.50 Moreover, where a defendant is sentenced to a term of probation or conditional discharge, the ten year period runs from the date of conviction, and not the conclusion of the probation or conditional discharge period.51 Where a defendant is sentenced or resentenced to a term of imprisonment, the ten year period does not commence running until the defendant’s actual release date from the department of corrections.52 A period of parole or mandatory supervised release, however, does not further toll the ten-year period.53
Be aware that it is the proponent of the impeachment that bears the burden of proving the date a witness was convicted and/or released from the Department of Corrections; persons incarcerated rarely serve the actual number of years set forth in a sentencing order and courts will not presume this to be the case.54 Though as a practical matter there is generally agreement as to when a witness was released from the Department of Corrections, a party should obtain a certified record setting forth the release date where that date may be outside the ten-year window for admissibility.
The third Montgomery factor requires the trial court to perform a balancing test, taking into consideration factors such as the nature of the prior offense, its recency, its similarity to the present charge, the length of the defendant’s criminal record, and the age and circumstances of the witness.55 If after weighing these factors the trial court determines that the prejudice substantially outweighs the probative value of admitting the evidence, then evidence of the prior conviction must be excluded.56 The determination of whether a witness’s prior conviction is admissible for impeachment purposes is within the discretion of the trial court.57
It should be noted that prior convictions are per se too prejudicial simply because they are for the same or similar crimes charged in the pending case. The Illinois Supreme Court rejected this argument in People v. Redd, where the defendant moved to bar evidence of prior convictions for rape and attempted murder in defendant’s double rape and murder trial.58 A unanimous court dismissed the argument that the prior convictions were "so similar" that the prejudice outweighed the probative value, concluding instead that the trial judge had properly exercised the discretion envisioned under Montgomery.59 This, of course, does not preclude a defendant from making an argument for substantial prejudice; it is, after all, a discretionary call on the part of the judge.
It should also be remembered that, while historically the fact-finder would simply be told that the defendant had a felony conviction, and not the name of the offense, this "mere fact" method of impeachment is no longer allowed. If a court admits a conviction for impeachment purposes, the name of the offense must now be provided to the jury.60 The rationale for providing the fact-finder with the name of the impeachment offense is to preclude speculation that could unfairly prejudice the defendant.61
3. Impeachment by Juvenile Adjudications
Where a testifying witness has a juvenile adjudication that would be admissible if it were an adult conviction, that adjudication is admissible to impeach the credibility of the witness.62 The answer may be otherwise where the prosecution seeks to use a juvenile adjudication to impeach a testifying defendant’s credibility.
Historically, juvenile adjudications were not admissible to impeach defendants.63 This prohibition, however, is policy-driven and does not have constitutional underpinnings.64 In 1999, the Juvenile Act was amended by the addition of 705 ILCS 405/5-150.65 Section 5-150(c) provides, in pertinent part, that adjudications under the Juvenile Act "shall be admissible . . . in criminal proceedings in which anyone who has been adjudicated delinquent under Section 5-105 is to be a witness including . . . the defendant if he or she testifies, and then only for purposes of impeachment and pursuant to the rules of evidence for criminal trials[.]"66
Though Section 5-150(c) provides unambiguously that juvenile adjudications are fair game for purposes of impeaching defendants who testify, our Appellate Court in People v. Harris recently commented that a defendant’s juvenile adjudications are ordinarily inadmissible pursuant to Montgomery, though allowing the evidence on other grounds.67 Surprisingly, the Harris opinion is completely silent as to Section 5-150(c)’s provision otherwise. Similarly, Cleary & Graham’s Handbook of Illinois Evidence ignores Section 5-150(c) and opines that juvenile adjudications may not be used to impeach defendants.68
Nothing in the Harris opinion, however, suggests that the prosecution ever argued that Section 5-150(c) permitted impeaching the defendant with his juvenile adjudications. That a future appellate court might rule in accordance with Section 5-150(c) seems entirely plausible.
D. Defendant’s Propensity to Commit Sex Offenses
While the admissibility of other crimes evidence is beyond the scope of this article69, it is worth noting that the General Assembly has enacted a statute that supersedes the common law rule barring propensity evidence for certain enumerated sexual offenses.70 Under that statute, if three conditions are fulfilled, certain previously charged or uncharged sex acts are admissible to prove the defendant’s propensity to commit a charged sex offense.71
First, the uncharged sex offense must be "otherwise admissible under the rules of evidence" 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3(b). Evidence that is normally inadmissible, such as hearsay evidence, remains inadmissible.72
Second, the "probative value of the evidence" must outweigh its "undue prejudice," considering such factors as "proximity in time" and "the degree of factual similarity."73
Third, the State must "disclose the evidence at a reasonable time in advance of trial, or during trial if the court excuses pretrial notice on good cause shown."74
PROVING CHARACTER AND REPUTATION
Except as otherwise noted, only reputation evidence is admissible to prove character. Reputation is the collective opinion of persons within a pertinent community. Where a party seeks to introduce evidence of a pertinent character trait, such evidence must meet three conditions to be admissible.
The first condition of admissibility is that evidence of the specific character trait makes the existence of an essential element of the charged offense more or less probable.75 The second condition of admissibility is that the particular character trait existed before the commission of the offense, but not too remote in time.76 The third condition of admissibility is evidence of a general reputation in the community for the particular character trait in issue.77 Such evidence is established by a witness who knows the subject and is familiar with subject’s reputation in a relevant community.78 A relevant community can be a neighborhood, club, professional association or the like, depending upon the facts of the case.
Reputation evidence may not be based upon the witness’s own opinion, a personal opinion being something less than reputation.79 This is of course contrary to the Federal Rules of Evidence, which allow opinion evidence based upon personal knowledge.80
Additionally, a defendant may not generally prove good character by evidence of specific acts or conduct.81 Accordingly, a defendant is barred from proving "good character" by presenting evidence that he has not been previously charged, prosecuted or convicted of a crime.82
CROSS-EXAMINING CHARACTER WITNESSES
In cross-examining a character witness, one may explore the relationship of the witness with the subject of the reputation evidence, as well as the facts and circumstances underlying where the witness heard or discussed the subject’s reputation.83 Illinois law, however, does not permit cross-examining character witnesses with specific instances of conduct.84 Thus, the cross-examiner should not explore the character witness’s personal knowledge of a subject’s conduct.85 Likewise, never cross-examine a character witness as to whether the witness "ha[s] heard that the [subject] ha[s] been convicted of a prior crime."86 Nor should a character witness be cross-examined regarding awareness of the charges at issue.
REHABILITATING CHARACTER WITNESSES
Illinois allows a party to present character witnesses to support a witness’s reputation for truthfulness after that witness’s character for untruthfulness has been introduced by an opposing party.87 The testimony of these rehabilitation witnesses must be in the form of reputation; the testimony may relate only to the character trait of truthfulness; and the rehabilitation witness may not be examined regarding specific instances of truthful conduct by the primary witness.88
1 People v. Richardson, 123 Ill. 2d 322, 339, 528 N.E.2d 612, 617 (Ill. 1988); People v. Lindgren, 79 Ill. 2d 129, 137 402 N.E.2d 238 (Ill. 1980).
2 People v. Romero, 66 Ill. 2d 325, 330, 362 N.E.2d 288, 290 (Ill. 1977)
4 People v. Lewis, 25 Ill. 2d 442, 445, 185 N.E.2d 254, 256 (Ill. 1962); People v. Perez, 209 Ill. App. 3d 457, 568 N.E.2d 250 (1st Dist. 1991).
6 People v. Batinich, 196 Ill. App. 3d 1078, 1085, 545 N.E.2d 613, 619 (1st Dist. 1990).
7 People v. Lucas, 151 Ill. 2d 461, 483-84, 603 N.E.2d 460 (Ill. 1992).
8 People v. Flax, 147 Ill.App. 3d 943, 951; 498 N.E.2d 667, 672 (1st Dist. 1986).
9 People v. Holt, 398 Ill. 606, 613, 76 N.E.2d 474, 477 (Ill. 1948); People v. Mertens, 77 Ill. App. 3d 791, 803-04, 396 N.E.2d 595, 606 (2nd Dist. 1979)
10 People v. Hermens, 5 Ill.2d 277, 287, 125 N.E.2d 500, 505 (Ill. 1955); People v. West, 246 Ill. App. 3d 1070, 1075, 517 N.E.2d 147, 151 (1st Dist.1993); People v. Sargent, 207 Ill. App. 3d 631, 566 N.E.2d 318 (1st Dist. 1990).
11 People v. Harris, 224 Ill. App. 3d 649, 651-52, 587 N.E.2d 47, 49-50 (3rd Dist. 1992);
12 People v. Krause, 241 Ill. App. 3d 394, 401, 609 N.E.2d 980, 985 (2nd Dist. 1983)
13Id.; see also Cleary & Graham’s Handbook of Illinois Evidence, Section 608.2 (8th Ed. 2004).
15 Id.; People v. Thomas, 18 Ill. 2d 439 (Ill. 1960)
16 People v. Goodwin, 98 Ill. App. 3d 726, 729, 424 N.E.2d 425, 427 (5th Dist. 1981)
17 People v. Patterson, 154 Ill.2d 414, 464 610 N.E.2d 16, 39 (Ill. 1992)
18 People v. Ware, 180 Ill. App. 3d 921, 927, 536 N.E.2d 713, 717 (1st Dist. 1988)
19 People v. Allen, 50 Ill.2d 280, 284, 278 N.E.2d 762, 765 (Ill. 1972).
20 People v. Gibson, 385 Ill. 371 (1944); People v. Ware, 180 Ill. App. 3d 921, 927, 536 N.E.2d 713, 717 (1st Dist. 1988).
21 People v. Brindley, 369 Ill. 486, 491, 17 N.E.2d 218, 220 (Ill. 1938); People v. Cruzado, 299 Ill. App. 3d 131, 136 700 N.E.2d 707, 711(1st Dist. 1998); People v. Ware, 180 Ill. App. 3d 921, 927, 536 N.E.2d 713, 717 (1st Dist. 1988).
22 People v. Lynch, 104 Ill.2d 194. 200-01, 470 N.E.2d 1018, 1020 (Ill. 1987)
24 People v. Morgan, 197 Ill. 2d 404, 455, 758 N.E.2d 813, 842 (Ill. 2001)
25 People v. Ware, 180 Ill. App. 3d 921, 928-29, 536 N.E.2d 713, 718(1st Dist. 1988)
26 People v. Cruzado, 299 Ill. App. 3d 131, 136-37, 700 N.E.2d 707, 712 (1st Dist. 1998)
27 People v. Lovings, 275 Ill. App. 3d 19, 24-25, 655 N.E.2d 1152, 1156 (1st Dist. 1995)
28 People v. Jackson, 293 Ill. App. 3d 1009, 1013, 689 N.E.2d 191, 195 (1st Dist. 1997); People v. Lynch, 104 Ill.2d 194, 200-01, 470 N.E.2d 1018, 1020 (Ill. 1987)
29 People v. Morgan, 197 Ill. 2d 404, 455, 758 N.E.2d 813, 842 (Ill. 2001)
30 People v. Lynch, 104 Ill.2d 194. 200-01, 470 N.E.2d 1018, 1020 (Ill. 1987)
31 People v. Collins, 25 Ill. 2d 605, 611, 186 N.E.2d 30, 33 (Ill. 1965)
32 725 ILCS 5/115-7 et seq.
33 720 ILCS 5/115-7(a)(1)
35 720 ILCS 5/115-7(b)
39 People v. Hill, 289 Ill.App.3d 859, 864, 683 N.E.2d 188, 192 (5th Dist. 1997)
40 People v. Grant, 232 Ill.App.3d 93, 104, 596 N.E.2d 813, 821 (1st Dist. 1992)(evidence might have been allowed but for an insufficient offer of proof)
41 People v. Halcomb, 176 Ill.App.3d 100, 106, 530 N.E.2d 1074 (1st Dist. 1988).
42 People v. Santos, 211 Ill.2d 395, 813 N.E.2d 159 (Ill. 2004)
43 People v. West, 158 Ill 2d. 155, 162, 632 N.E.2d 1044 (Ill. 1994)
44 People v. Williams, 139 Ill. 2d 1, 21, 563 N.E.2d 431 (Ill. 1990)
45 People v. Miller, 13 Ill.2d 84, 108, 148N.E.2d 455, 468 (Ill. 1958); People v. Griffith, 56 Ill. App. 3d 747, 756, 372 N.E.2d 404, 411 (2nd Dist. 1978)
46 People v. Kliner, 185 Ill. 2d 81, 173, 705 N.E.2d 850, 896 (Ill. 1998)
47 People v. Williams, 139 Ill. 2d 1, 21, 563 N.E.2d 431 (Ill. 1990)
48 People v. Montgomery, 47 Ill.2d 510, 268 N.E.2d 695 (Ill. 1971)
49 Id. at 516; People v. Williams, 173 Ill.2d 48, 81, 670 N.E.2d 638, 654-55 (Ill. 1996)
50 People v. Hawkins, 243 Ill. App. 3d 210, 222-24; 611 N.E.2d 1069, 1078-79 (1st Dist. 1993)
52People v. Montgomery, 47 Ill.2d 510, 516, 268 N.E.2d 695, 698 (Ill. 1971); People v. Owens, 58 Ill. App. 3d 37, 38-39, 373 N.E.2d 848, 850 (4th Dist.1978)
53 People v. Norwood, 164 Ill. App. 3d 699, 702, 518 N.E.2d 246, 249 (1st Dist. 1987)
54 People v. Yost, 78 Ill.2d 292, 296-97, 399 N.E.2d 1283, 1284-85 (Ill. 1980)
55 People v. Montgomery, 47 Ill.2d 510, 516, 268 N.E.2d 695, 698 (Ill. 1971)
56 People v. Atkinson, 186 Ill.2d 450, 456, 713 N.E.2d 532, 535 (Ill. 1999)
58 People v. Redd, 135 Ill.2d 252, 324-27, 533 N.E.2d 316, 359-50 (Ill. 1990),
60 People v. Atkinson, 186 Ill.2d 450, 456, 713 N.E.2d 532, 535 (Ill. 1999)
62 People v. Montgomery, 47 Ill.2d 510, 517, 268 N.E.2d 695, 699 (Ill. 1971); People v. Kerns, 229 Ill. App.3d 938, 940-941, 595 N.E.2d 207, 208-209 (4th Dist. 1992)
63People v. Montgomery, 47 Ill.2d 510, 517, 268 N.E.2d 695, 699 (Ill. 1971); People v. Kerns, 229 Ill. App.3d 938, 940-941, 595 N.E.2d 207, 208-209 (4th Dist. 1992); People v. Sneed, 274 Ill.App.3d 287, 295, 653 N.E.2d 1349, 1355 (1st Dist. 1995); People v. Massie, 137 Ill.App.3d 723, 731, 484 N.E.2d 1213, 1218-1219 (2nd Dist. 1985)
64 People v. Harris, 375 Ill. App. 3d 398, 406, 873 N.E.2d 584, 591-92 (3rd Dist. 2007)
65 705 ILCS 405/5-150 et seq.
66 705 ILCS 405/5-150(c)(emphasis added)
67 People v. Harris, 375 Ill. App. 3d 398 (3rd Dist. 2007)
68 Cleary & Graham’s Handbook of Illinois Evidence, Section 609.9 (8th Ed. 2004)
69 See Scott Sinson, Other Crimes Evidence in Illinois, Journal of the DuPage County Bar Association, March 2001 (comprehensive review of the admissibility of other crimes evidence in Illinois)
70 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3
71 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3(b); People v. Donoho, 204 Ill.2d 159, 176, 788 N.E.2d 707, 718 (Ill. 2003).
72 People v. Childress, 338 Ill.App.3d 540, 551, 789 N.E.2d 330, 339 (1st Dist. 2003)
73 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3(c)(1) and (c)(2).
74 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3(d).
75 People v. Lewis, 25 Ill. 2d 442, 445, 185 N.E.2d 254, 256 (Ill. 1962).
76 People v. Bascomb, 74 Ill. App 3d 392, 394, 392 N.E.2d 1130, 1132 (4th Dist. 1979)
77 People v. Willy, 301 Ill.307, 317-18, 133 N.E.859, 864 (Ill. 1921).
78 People v. Smalley, 10 Ill.App.3d 416, 424, 294 N.E.2d 305, 310 (2nd Dist. 1973)
79 People v. Barnes, 182 Ill. App.3d 75, 79, 537 N.E.2d 949, 951 (1st Dist. 1989)
80 Fed. R. Evid. 405(a)
81 People v. Flax, 147 Ill. App. 3d943, 951-52, 498 N.E.2d 667, 672 (1st Dist. 1986)
83 People v. Redmond, 50 Ill.2d 313, 315-16, 278 N.E.2d 766, 768 (Ill. 1972)
85 People v. Lucas, 151 Ill. 2d 461, 483-84, 603 N.E.2d 460 (Ill. 1992)
86 People v. Patterson, 154 Ill.2d 414, 464 610 N.E.2d 16, 39 (Ill. 1992)
87 People v. Doll, 126 Ill. App. 3d 495, 501-02, 467 N.E.2d 335, 340 (2nd Dist. 1984).