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Exam Question for Criminal Law Section

Alice and Bill Smith were jointly convicted of bigamy.

In the information filed against the Smiths, the State charged that Alice had married Bill at a time when she was lawfully married to a man who is still alive.

At trial the Smiths sought to introduce evidence (1) that Alice’s lawful husband had remarried; (2) that the justice of the peace who married Alice and Bill had advised them since Alice’s husband had remarried, Alice also had the right to remarry; (3) that Alice and Bill both relied on the advice of the justice of the peace in good faith, believing it to be an accurate statement of the law; and (4) that a lawyer who they had retained, Ralph Recklyss, had assured them that they could lawfully marry one another. The court held that all of the proffered evidence was inadmissible.

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