Typically, arguments for restricting character impeachment evidence are based in part on the premise that prior crimes, at least violent crimes, generally indicate little about a person's veracity. The argument advanced here against character impeachment of criminal defendants does not rely on that premise; in fact, it accepts the premise that prior antisocial behavior, even not involving dishonesty, often does indicate a good deal about a person's general truthtelling inclination. A careful analysis of the situation of the accused on the witness stand-rather than an easy assumption about irrelevance-leads to this Article's broad conclusion that character impeachment evidence of criminal defendants ought to be eliminated. A similar analysis suggests that in some cases character impeachment of other witnesses ought to be allowed.
Friedman, Richard D. "Character Impeachment Evidence: Psycho-Bayesian (!?) Analysis and a Proposed Overhaul." UCLA L. Rev. 38 (1991): 637-97.