Proving the Similarity of Factual Situations In Court
In Drake v. State, 400 So. 2d 1217 (Fla. 1981), the Court stated:
The mode of operating theory of proving identity is based on both the similarity of and the unusual nature of the factual situations being compared.
A mere general similarity will not render the similar facts legally relevant to show identity.
There must be identifiable points of similarity which pervade the compared factual situations.
Given sufficient similarity, in order for the similar facts to be relevant the points of similarity must have some special character or be so unusual as to point to the defendant. Id. at 1219.
The court held in Drake, 400 So. 2d at 1219, Peek v. State, 488 So. 2d 52 (Fla. 1986), and Thompson v. State, 494 So. 2d 203 (Fla. 1986), that prior sexual crimes of the defendants in those cases were inadmissible in their murder prosecutions because the collateral crimes were insufficiently similar. See Chandler v. State, 702 So. 2d 186, 192 (Fla. 1997).