skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 99085 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evidence and Trial Advocacy Workshop - Prior Conviction Impeachment; Discretionary Balancing; Dishonesty and False Statement
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:21  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1985)  Pages:338-352
Author(s): M H Graham
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study interprets and examines issues in the application of Rule 609(a) and 609(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which pertain to the use of witnesses' prior criminal convictions to impeach their testimony.
Abstract: Rule 609(a) limits the use of prior convictions to impeach witnesses to crimes punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of 1 year, based on the court's determination that the probative value of admitting this evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to the defendant. The rule also permits admitting evidence of a witness' prior conviction that involved dishonesty or false statement, regardless of the punishment. The analysis of this section of the rule covers criteria used in the discretionary balancing of the probative and prejudicial aspects of prior conviction evidence. This includes a review of relevant court decisions in Luck v. United States, Gordon v. United States, and United States v. Fountain. The study then reviews which crimes courts have interpreted to involve dishonesty and false statements, thus having a direct relevance to the witnesses' propensity for deceptive behaviors. The study's final section interprets Rule 609(b), which governs admissibility of a prior conviction when more than 10 years have elapsed since the conviction date or the witnesses' release from confinement, whichever is the later date. Twenty-eight footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Conviction records; Federal courts; Rules of evidence; Witness impeachment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.