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Habit Evidence

· State v. Brown, 344 S.C. 70 (2001) There is tension between habit evidence and propensity evidence, which can make admissibility difficult. Habit can be described “as conduct that is situation-specific or specific, particularized conduct capable of almost identical repetition.” Character can be described as “a generalized description of a person's disposition or a general trait such as honesty, temperance, or peacefulness.” A victim’s testimony describing what happens when her husband becomes angry was improper propensity evidence and not specific habit evidence. However, testimony that defendant always had a gun on him was proper habit evidence because of its specificity and pattern.


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