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When Ex-Felon Status Is Proven By Specific Evidence
Evidence has been presented on the issue of defendant’s ex-felon status. Your consideration of this evidence must be limited to the purpose of determining if it proves the ex-felon element of Count ____.
You are not to consider such evidence to prove that defendant is a person of bad character, that [he] [she] has a disposition to commit crime, or for any other purpose.
Points and Authorities
When the defendant does not stipulate to his/her ex-felon status specific evidence concerning that issue is relevant and admissible. (People v. Bennett (87) 188 CA3d 911, 914 [233 CR 729].) When such evidence is presented, the defense has a right to instruction, upon request, to limit the jury’s consideration of this evidence. (See People v. Ratcliff (90) 223 CA3d 1401, 1405-07 [273 CR 253].)
Improper jury reliance upon such evidence would lessen the prosecution’s burden and implicate the defendant’s federal (6th and 14th Amendments) constitutional rights to trial by jury and due process.
CAVEAT: As with most cautionary or limiting instructions, counsel will have to determine whether the benefits of the instruction outweigh the danger that it might unduly emphasize the prejudicial matter. [See FORECITE F 2.002a.]