B. Introduction of Bonner’s Character Evidence
Bonner also objects to the introduction by the prosecution
of negative “character evidence” about himself. General
evidence of the defendant’s character is inadmissible in
criminal cases. See United States v. Romero, 189 F.3d 576,
587 (7th Cir. 1999); F
. 404(a). Such evidence
becomes admissible, however, where the defendant has
introduced evidence aimed at portraying his own character
in a positive light, and the prosecution is merely trying
to counter the inferences to be drawn from such statements.
. 404(a)(1). The prosecution may, for in-
stance, introduce evidence of a defendant’s bad reputation
after a defendant has put her reputation at issue. See, e.g.,
United States v. Marrero, 486 F.2d 622, 626 (7th Cir. 1973).
Here, the defense chose to introduce evidence of Bon-
ner’s honesty and generosity. Bonner’s counsel harped
on the bonds of trust between Bonner and Angelita as
well as Bonner’s generosity, pointing out that Bonner
did things for Angelita that no one else bothered to do.
Counsel’s opening statement also lauded Bonner’s charac-
ter, thus “opening the door” to the prosecution’s evidence.
United States v. Jordan, 722 F.2d 353, 358 (7th Cir. 1983);
see also United States v. Pacione, 950 F.2d 1348, 1353
(7th Cir. 1992).
To respond to Bonner’s benevolent picture of himself, the
prosecution elicited the testimony of Mr. Tate, a govern-
ment lawyer who had known Bonner for over a decade.
Tate testified that despite their long acquaintance, he
did not know anything about Bonner’s reputation for
truthfulness and honesty. To the question “Do you know
if the Defendant is a generous person?” Tate replied “No.”
We do not dispute that Tate’s testimony was quite damn-
ing, but it was fair game under the circumstances. Once
again, although the lack of a timely and specific objection
leaves us with only plain error review, the standard
makes little difference. Under any standard, we are satis-