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Law School Case Brief

People v. Muldrow - 202 Cal. App. 3d 636, 248 Cal. Rptr. 891 (1988)

Rule:

Convictions that rest on dishonest conduct relate to credibility. Deceit, fraud, cheating or stealing are universally regarded as conduct which reflects adversely on a man's honesty and integrity.

Facts:

Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree burglary. On appeal, defendant contended that it was an abuse of the trial court's discretion to admit six prior convictions of crimes of moral turpitude, three of which were identical to the charged offense. The court affirmed the conviction, and the defendant appealed.

Issue:

Are the previous convictions of the defendant admissible as evidence against him?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court found that the prior convictions were admissible and that in examining the record there was no clear showing of abuse of discretion and that the admission of the prior convictions substantially outweighed any danger of undue prejudice. The court found that prior convictions, especially of identical offenses, should be admitted sparingly, but that the defendant was not allowed to give the jury the false impression of veracity.

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