Miscellaneous Quiz / Midlands Case Law

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Can you match each Midlands Supreme Court Case to the relevant ruling it created? Please write answers in the form of '______ v. _______'

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Character Evidence
Evidence admissible under the trial above this line is neither wide-sweeping nor practically all-inclusive and is to be introduced only if it is relevant to rebut the facts alleged in a legal defense offered at trial. 
For an entrapment case, any character evidence of past crimes relating to the defendant's crime is admissible under 402(b). 
Burden of Proof
A criminal defendant’s decision to exercise the constitutionally protected right not to testify in his or her own defense may not be commented upon by the State. 
While the prosecution in a criminal case must prove each of the elements of its burden beyond a reasonable doubt, this burden does not typically apply to evidentiary matters, which weights it on a preponderance of the evidence.  
Misconduct
In the guilt phase of a criminal trial, no one can enter evidence that discusses penalties. 
It is improper for an attorney to comment on sentencing or discuss potential penalties during the guilt phase of the trial. 
Authentication
As long as the proponent of a statement produces evidence that a given person made a particular statement, the court must assume for the purposes of assessing the statement’s admissibility that the statement was made by that person. 
If an email comes from a known account of a person, it can be concluded that said person sent that email, unless sufficient evidence proves otherwise. 
Text messages received on a cell phone are properly authenticated when the proponent of the evidence shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, the author of the message. 
Entrapment
If a defendant pursues entrapment defense, they admit to the prosecution's charge and no one may try and prove those elements of the case or offer elements that go to that end. 
A defendant’s decision to offer an affirmative defense, including entrapment, must be disclosed to the State at least 15 days before trial. 
A valid entrapment defense has two elements: (1) government inducement of the crime, and (2) the defendant’s lack of predisposition to engage in the crime. The defendant should be found not guilty only if the prosecution fails to meet its burden and the defense meets its burden. 
Five considerations for entrapment: 1) Whether government agents suggested the activity 2) Whether the defendant was reluctant 3) Whether the defendant was pressured 4) The defendant's level of participation and 5) The defendant's character 
It is admissible to use character evidence to prove/disprove a defendant's predisposition if they are pursuing a defense of entrapment. 
Entrapment Continued
In determining whether a defendant was induced to commit a crime for the purposes of an entrapment defense, the trier of fact should consider whether government agents employed methods of persuasion or encouragement that create a substantial risk that a crime will be committed by a person who was otherwise unlikely to commit it. 
An informant participating in a government investigation is a government agent for the purposes of an entrapment defense. 
The means by which a law enforcement officer recruited an informant or obtained an informant’s participation do not in and of themselves support an argument that a defendant was induced into committing a crime. 
The predisposition inquiry leads the fact finder to consider whether the defendant was an unwary innocent or, instead, a criminal who readily availed himself of the opportunity to perpetrate the crime. 
Hearsay
Specifically, Rule 801(d)(2) permits the State to offer statements by a criminal defendant. 
It is entirely possible for an out-of-court statement by a person who is or will be testifying in a particular trial to be excluded by the general rule against hearsay. 
In a criminal case, a law enforcement officer is not considered a “party opponent'. 
In a criminal case, an informant is not considered a “party opponent'. 
Criminal conspiracy to commit a crime occurs when a person agrees with others to commit an offense, attempt to commit an offense, solicit the commission of an offense, or aid another in the planning or commission of an offense. An informant can't be in conspiracy with the defendant. 
For a statement to qualify under the hearsay exclusion of Midlands Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E), the proponent must establish the existence of said conspiracy by a preponderance of the evidence. 
Expert Witnesses
All scientific testimony must be relevant and reliable. Reliability must be determined by data and methods used, no the conclusions themselves. 
Witness reliability should be tested by whether the theory or technique has been or can be tested, whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication, whether it has a known error rate, and whether it has gained widespread acceptance within the field. 
If a witness's state as an expert witness is established in a special session held pre-trial (a 'Tarot Readers' trial), then their foundation does not need to be laid and that ruling must be respected throughout the trial. 
Midlands Rule of Evidence 703 does not afford an expert unlimited license to testify or present a chart in a manner that simply summarizes inadmissible hearsay without first relating that hearsay to some specialized knowledge on the expert’s part. 
Basis of Evidentiary Rulings
A court may rely on inadmissible evidence to rule whether other evidence is admissible.  

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