Does Exhibition of Identification Photograph of Defendant from Police Files Put His Character In Issue ?
In Gravitt v. State, 239 Ga. 709 (239 S.E.2d 149) (1977). a police officer testified that a picture of the defendant shown to the victim "'was a mug shot from the files of the DeKalb County Police Department.'"
The Supreme Court held that "such evidence, without more, contains nothing to indicate that the defendant was guilty of previous crimes and did not put the appellant's character in issue."
In Woodard v. State, 234 Ga. 901 (218 S.E.2d 629) (1975) the Supreme Court held that "the mere statement of the detective that he 'decided to pull some pictures of the defendant from our files' would not place the defendant's character in evidence."
Similarly, the Supreme Court held in Fleming v. State that testimony that a defendant's identification photograph "came from the G. B. I." did not impermissibly place his character in evidence.
Finally, the Supreme Court has stated that under previous decisions of this court, actually exhibiting a mugshot to the jury has not been held erroneous.
Therefore, an arguable reference to a mugshot, while not to be encouraged, did not impermissibly place appellant's character in issue. Knight v. State, 243 Ga. 770, 775 (3) (257 S.E.2d 182) (1979).