Brief Fact Summary. Appellant, Drew, brought an appeal from a District Court conviction on one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery, based on the fact that the counts were improperly joined.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Joinder is only proper when there is such a close resemblance in the manner in which two crimes were committed to make them admissible against one another.
It is a principle of long standing in our law that evidence of one crime is inadmissible to prove disposition to commit crime, from which the jury may infer that the defendant committed the crime charged.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether two similar crimes can be joined for trial purposes.
Held. The court held that the joinder prejudiced the defendant, and that separate trials should have been granted. Conviction reversed and case remanded.
Discussion. This case offers a good discussion of joinder and the way in which it can prejudice a defendant. The argument against a liberal joinder policy is that a defendant can be prejudiced in a variety of ways:
First, the defendant may become confused in attempting to present separate defenses;
Second, the jury may confuse the evidence of one crime for another; and
Third, the evidence of more than one crime may be cumulated.