Impeachment | Problem 12

Prosecution of D for murder. D testifies that she and her friend were at a nightclub all night the evening of the murder. On cross-examination, the prosecutor asks D if it isnt true that she was convicted of murder five years earlier. D objects to the question as to the prior conviction.

How should the court rule?

Objection sustained unless it finds that the probative value of the conviction to impeach Ds credibility outweighs its prejudicial effect. A prior convictioneven for murderis not automatically admissible since its not a dishonest act or false statement. FRE 609(a)(2). Since the witness is the criminal defendant, the evidence must be admitted if the probative value of the evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to that defendant. FRE 609(a)(1)(B).