(7) Documentary Evidence

(7) Documentary Evidence - CJ 1123 Criminal Evidence and...

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CJ 1123 Criminal Evidence and Procedure Chapter 7 Documentary Evidence 7-1 Authentication Documentary evidence refers to all types of documents: Deeds, contracts, checks, letters, pictures, movies, videotapes, audio recordings, compact disks, files on a computer hard drive, computer generated reports, price tags, display items hanging from a store ceiling All types of documents must be authenticated to be admissible Show that a writing is what it is claimed to be Prevents someone from fraudulently claiming a document is his Self Authenticating Documents Automatically assumed to be made for its apparent purpose 1. Sealed gov’t documents Bear an official seal and are signed by someone who states the document is real Certified copies of public records (ex prior conviction records) 2. notarized documents notary asks for identification and notarizes the signature as being genuine 3. acknowledged documents ex – will – person making the will must show it to the witness and state that the document is intended to be his will – witness signs and acknowledges it – the witness does not need to read the will or know what is in it 4. official publications official gov’t publications – codes, case reporter 5. other self authenticating documents documents that are considered to have a minimal likelihood of forgery – newspapers and periodicals Methods to Authenticate Documents 1. testimony of a witness testify about the making of the document if it has been in the possession of the police, need to testify about chain of custody 2. lay opinion on handwriting 3. handwriting expert usually needs an exemplar (sample) 4. distinctive characteristics contained distinctive characteristics (words, phrases, doodles) used by the person who allegedly made the document if it contains info known only to the maker or a small group of people 5. public records if a report was made and filed in accordance with local law can be used to show that the event occurred – ex police reports Meridith Spencer Page 1 of 4
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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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(7) Documentary Evidence - CJ 1123 Criminal Evidence and...

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