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Unformatted text preview: Criminal Evidence and Procedure Chapter 6: Crime Scene Evidence, Experiments and Models Crime Scene Evidence, Experiments and Models 6-1 Introduction What is real evidence? Anything that can be perceived with the 5 senses except trial testimony All types of real evidence have two things in common: Must be marked and formally introduced into evidence Atty who wishes to introduce them must lay a foundation to establish the admissibility of the items in question Formal process for marking items: 1. item must be show to opposing counsel before testimony about it is introduced (atty can see the item and form appropriate questions) 2. side that intends to introduce the item has the court clerk assign it a number or letter for identification purposes 3. foundation is laid to establish that the item is admissible 4. formal request is made to admit it into evidence if the judge rules it as admissible it is given an exhibit number or letter and entered into evidence – why is it marked twice? Not all items displayed during trial will be introduced as evidence Testimony of several witnesses may be needed to lay the foundation – by the time all these witnesses are done other items may have been admitted into evidence exhibits entered into evidence can be examined by the jury and can usually be taken to the jury room during deliberations 6-2 Crime Scene Evidence All items that are admitted into evidence must be authenticated – show that it is genuine Show the item is the same one described by the witness Item needs to be in the same condition (unless it was necessary to conduct lab tests) If tests have altered its appearance, this must be explained to the jury At the crime scene, protect evidence so that it is not destroyed or damaged – restrict public access Officers must be careful not to accidentally damage potential evidence Police try to save everything that might have evidentiary value – things that are not properly preserved will not be admissible Laying the foundation 1. have someone identify the object and testify about where the item was found – easier if there is unique identifying info (serial number) Meridith Spencer Page 1 of 10 Criminal Evidence and Procedure Chapter 6: Crime Scene Evidence, Experiments and Models officer frequently will mark the object (initials) at the time it was originally collected – done in an area where it does not interfere with the use of the item as evidence 2. one of more witnesses will need to testify about what has been done with it since it was taken into custody of the police officers need to be familiar with what lab tests might be done so as to properly store/ preserve it blood stained clothing needs to be air dried (avoid mildew/ mold) charred remains from an arson need to be stored in airtight containers to avoid evaporation of fluids used to start the fire before collecting and packaging evidence, officer should make a detailed record of the crime scene indicating where each item was found – sketch (made to scale),...
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- Spring '05
- Forensic evidence, crime scene evidence, Meridith Spencer, Meridith Spencer Page