Thursday, November 5, 2009

Prior Bad Acts--The LA Doctor/Cyclist Road Rage Case

Charles Pelkey, a Wyoming lawyer and cycling advocate had a terrific "explainer" at VeloNews today, relating to the question of admission of evidence of "Prior Bad Acts" in the criminal trial of the LA emergency room physician Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson convicted Monday of multiple counts of felony assault.  As you will recall Dr. Thompson pulled his luxury sedan in front of two road cyclists and stopped propelling one cyclist into the rear window of his car nearly severing the cyclist's nose and causing various serious injuries to both riders.

Pelkey's essay dealt with the introduction of evidence at trial of numerous other incidents involving this doctor and bicyclists.  The question is how does this evidence come in against a criminal defendant when as a general principle a person may not be convicted of crime based on evidence of prior similar acts.  The same principle applies generally to civil lawsuits.  Read Pelkey's explanation, see

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