Discussion - Week3

Discussion - Week3 - 1. Do you think it is ethical for...

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1. Do you think it is ethical for either the prosecutor or defense attorney to discredit the testimony of eyewitnesses through the impeachment methods and techniques set forth in the textbook? Explain your answer Impeachment of a witness by his prior inconsistent statement, oral or written, is a time- honored method of attacking the crediting of the witness. If a witness has previously said or written something that is inconsistent with what he says at trial, this inconsistency adversely affects the witness’ credibility if the inconsistency is raised during the trial. The prior inconsistent statement usually consists of words spoken or written by the witness, but it can consist of the failure to speak about a relevant fact when it would have been natural for the witness to have said something. The prior statement can be in the form of an opinion of the failure to respond to the statement of another when a response would be expected. A prior statement of inability to recall is inconsistent with clear recall about the matter on the witness stand. The prior statement, no matter the form, must be inconsistent with the witness’ trial testimony. Direct inconsistency is not required. The test for any inconsistency is whether the prior statement or omission has a reasonable tendency to discredit the testimony of the witness. Evasion, bad faith lack of recall, or change of position can create inconsistency. When a witness evades or changes his testimony, the statement may be said to be inconsistent. When the witness on the stand has a clear memory of events that he could not recall in the prior statement, impeachment is appropriate. But when the reverse happens, the witness has a clear memory in the statement, but fails to recall on the stand, there is no inconsistency and nothing to impeach unless the judge finds the failure of memory is purposeful and not otherwise in good faith. http://students.law.lsu.edu/trialadvocacy/crossexaminationimpeachingawitness.PDF
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2011 for the course CJ 313 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Park.

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Discussion - Week3 - 1. Do you think it is ethical for...

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