Stanton v. State (Majority)Annotate this Case
After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of first-degree murder and employing a firearm as a means of committing the murder. Appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder conviction. On appeal, Appellant argued that the circuit court abused its discretion by allowing the State to introduce character evidence to show that he acted in conformity with his character when he committed the crimes. In response, the State asserted that because Appellant injected into the trial his character as a peaceful person, the State was allowed to rebut the evidence through cross-examination on relevant specific instances of Appellant’s conduct. The Supreme Court reversed Appellant’s convictions, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion in allowing the State to present testimony regarding Appellant’s character for lack of peacefulness because there was no testimony on that characteristic for the State to rebut.