(1) Introduction

(1) Introduction - Criminal Evidence and Procedure...

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Criminal Evidence and Procedure Introduction 1.1 What is Evidence? (list of things – which of these are evidence) Something that proves or disproves allegations and assertions In the legal sense – it includes only what is introduced at trial Terms such as inadmissible evidence are misleading – if the object is not admissible, it can not be evidence Testimony of witnesses: All evidence must be introduced by way of witness testimony – it may be introduced after a witness has testified about it – laying a foundation Documents: Anything written or printed, pictures, sound recordings, electronic files (emails) Bank demand note, forged check, counterfeit money, graffiti, court records (priors) Physical Objects Some evidence is developed just for the trial Forensic tests, fingerprints, case reenactment, scale models Mapp v Ohio (1961 SC) – meant that police needed to be concerned with how evidence was obtained Information and physical objects obtained in violations of the defendants rights is generally not admissible 1.2 Burden of Proof In a criminal trial the prosecution has the burden of proof They are required to produce credible evidence to prove every element of each crime charged this must be “beyond a reasonable doubt” – doubt based on reason and common sense The trial is started with a presumption of innocence – the gov’t must overcome this presumption The defense does not have to prove that the defendant did not commit the crime HOWEVER, the defendant is more likely to be convicted if no defense evident is presented
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course CRJ 152 taught by Professor Spencer during the Spring '05 term at Middlesex CC.

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(1) Introduction - Criminal Evidence and Procedure...

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