I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Today’s Installment of Odd Holdings from the Distant Past

It was held (by the Alabama Supreme Court) that opinion evidence that the defendant “was foolishly fond of women” is improper character evidence.

Just in case you need something to cite for that proposition.

I previously have posted some favorite bits of old Mississippi cases– for instance, black-letter law for the proposition that “It is a fact of common knowledge that when a dog has once acquired the habit of egg-sucking there is no available way by which he may be broken of it, and that there is no calculable limit to his appetite in the indulgence of the habitual propensity.”

Today, I quite accidently bumped into this opening paragraph, from an Alabama Supreme Court opinion:

The defendant was convicted of the offense of miscegenation, and sentenced to the penitentiary for three years. During the trial the defendant introduced testimony to prove his general good character. On cross-examination, a witness was asked by the solicitor, “Do you know the general character of defendant about women, and, if so, what is that character?” The witness replied “that he did from what was said about it, and that his general character about women was, from what was said about it, that he was foolishly fond of women.”

And thus the court, in Cauley v. State, 92 Ala. 71, 72, 9 So. 456 (1891), reversed the conviction and remanded.

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