I’m trying to figure out how I got the idea that during a trial, a defendant’s prior criminal record could never be disclosed to the jury (before sentencing). I now see that it’s not the case in Canada from this article (about a criminally stupid criminal - I feel sorry for his lawyer) and not in the UK either.
It looks like revealing a defendant’s criminal record to the jury only occurs if said information would have relevance in establishing the defendant’s credibility and, in some jurisdictions, only in trials involving certain charges, e.g. child sex crimes. I assume that whether the ‘relevance bar’ has been met in any trial is decided by the judge.
I am curious to know if ‘relevance to the defendant’s credibility’ constitutes the only grounds to override the general rule that prior convictions can not be disclosed to the jury. I assume that different countries will have different criteria as well as having possibly different classes of charges where the rule can be suspended, but, again, I’d be curious to hear more about that, too.