McMorris Evidence Law and Legal Definition
Evidence of a victim’s prior violence is called McMorris evidence. It is named after the case McMorris v. State, 58 Wis. 2d 144, 205 N.W.2d 559 (1973). In this case the court held “In criminal actions, when the reputation or character of the victim in the assault cause is not directly in issue, evidence thereof is not relevant. However, in trials for homicide or assault in which the issue of self-defense is sufficiently raised, evidence of the turbulent and dangerous character or reputation of the deceased or the victim of the assault is relevant in determining whether the victim or the accused was the aggressor, and as bearing on the reasonableness of the defendant's apprehension of danger at the time of the incident.” This rule has been generally recognized by the law of Wisconsin and most other jurisdictions.