Hofstra Law Review

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People v. Sandoval


Due to a recent ruling by the New York Court of Appeals in People v. Sandoval, an ex-offender facing criminal charges has a better chance of receiving a fair trial. The court established a firm policy of encouraging pre-trial hearings to limit the prosecution's freedom to impeach a defendant's credibility through crossexamination concerning his "prior specific criminal, vicious or immoral acts." Additionally, the court established a frame of reference within which trial courts should exercise discretion in determining what evidence of misbehavior should be admitted for the sake of impeaching credibility. A defendant's decision to testify or not is thus made on a more informed basis.

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