updated 375 lect #4

updated 375 lect #4 - Criminal Evidence an Introduction...

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Unformatted text preview: Criminal Evidence an Introduction Forms of Evidence • Types of Evidence • Real evidence: • Refers broadly to any tangible item that can be perceived with the five senses. • Also consists of documents • Such as contracts • Letters • Newspaper articles etc… 1 • Photographs, videos, and the like are also real evidence • Another type of real evidence is called • Demonstrative evidence: is intended to demonstrate a certain point • Drawings, and diagrams, displays and demonstrations • Computer simulations, and many others • Don’t confuse demonstrative with various types of real evidence. • Demonstrative evidence helps jurors sort through complex matter • Think of a jig saw puzzle Testimonial evidence • Testimonial evidence is what someone says • However not just anything 2 • Testimonial evidence is given by a competent witness who is testifying in court under oath Competency is the presence of particular characteristics and the absence of particular disabilities that render the witness legally qualified to testify in court Particular characteristics include such things as age, relationship to the defendant Disabilities: concerns the persons' understanding of the duty to tell the truth. Other types of testimonial evidence • Affidavits (sworn statements) and depositions taken out of court (usually in an office with attorneys present) • these are good for civil trials but not usually in criminal trials because of the sixth Amendments confrontation clause 3 • The key to testimonial evidence is that it is taken under oath If a statement is not taken under oath Not admissible in court There are exceptions some hearsay statements may be admissible in court Direct and circumstantial Evidence • Direct evidence is evidence that proves a fact without the need for the jour to infer or presume anything from it. • Speaks for itself that directly proves a certain point • Circumstantial evidence is evidence requires jurors to draw their own conclusions concerning whether the evidence in question should be taken as proof of the defendant’s guilt or lack thereof • 4 • It does not speak directly to the defendant’s involvement in a crime • • Shows involvement in a roundabout way • Example of direct evidence is testimony by a witness that the accused committed the crime • • Assuming the witness can be believed, in his or hers statements in court do not require that the jurors infer the defendant's guilt. • Specifically if a witness testifies that she saw the defendant shoot the victim, jurors need not make much of an intellectual leap between the witness’s testimony and the defendant guilt • Assuming that the witness is to be believed • Example: of direct evidence could be a convenience store videotape clearly showing the defendant robbing the teller • 5 • If the video is properly authenticated the jurors will not have to infer the defendant’s guilt....
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2012 for the course CJ 375 taught by Professor Jimcluphf during the Spring '12 term at Boise State.

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updated 375 lect #4 - Criminal Evidence an Introduction...

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