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NCJ Number: 135614 Find in a Library
Title: Right to "Plead Out" Issues and Block the Admission of Prejudicial Evidence: The Differential Treatment of Civil Litigants and the Criminal Accused as a Denial of Equal Protection
Journal: Emory Law Journal  Volume:40  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1991)  Pages:342-391
Author(s): E J Imwinkelried
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 50
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that criminal defendants should have the same right as civil defendants to "plead out" a special issue and thus block admission of evidence relevant only to that issue.
Abstract: In civil proceedings a defendant may admit to certain facts in the case so as to preclude the admission of any evidence to prove those facts that might be prejudicial to the defendant's case. In criminal cases, on the other hand, the defendant must plead either guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads not guilty, there can be no admission to any facts in the case to block the introduction of prejudicial evidence relevant only to proving those facts. The thesis of this article is that the differential treatment of the criminal defendant and the civil defendant on this matter constitutes a denial of the equal protection of the law for criminal defendants. This denial of equal protection should be ended by granting the criminally accused the same right to "plead out" facts in the case as is possessed by civil litigants. This right would enable an accused to shield the jury from highly prejudicial testimony such as evidence of an accused's uncharged crimes that may tempt the jury to decide the case on an improper basis. 302 footnotes
Main Term(s): Equal Protection
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Court rules; Criminal proceedings
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