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Abstract

This Note argues that, in a prosecution for a violation of a specific intent criminal statute, the government must accept a defendant’s clear and unambiguous stipulation to possessing the requisite intent for the crime charged. The trial court must ensure that the proffered stipulation is voluntarily given, unambiguous, and comprehensive, so as not to deprive the prosecution from presenting forceful, significant, and probative evidence. Once a defendant offers such an acceptable stipulation, however, the government’s introduction of prior bad acts to prove intent becomes extremely prejudicial, while any probative value the evidence may have is dissipated entirely. Part II of this Note examines the disparate circuit court decisions regarding the use of stipulations in lieu of prior-bad-act evidence, and discusses the United States Supreme Court’s view on the policy of liberally admitting prior-bad-act evidence. Part III resolves this issue by proposing to exclude prior-bad-act evidence to prove intent when intent is clearly stipulated.

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