Evidence 2


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Evidence 2

  1. 2. Rules of Evidence <ul><li>Developed over many years, very complex </li></ul><ul><li>Found in common and statute law </li></ul><ul><li>If admissibility of evidence is in question, a voir dire will be held – a trial within a trial </li></ul><ul><li>All witnesses are protected from self-incrimination and evidence must not be used to incriminate that witness in any other proceeding </li></ul>
  2. 4. Direct Evidence <ul><li>Testimony or other proof which expressly or straight-forwardly proves the existence of a fact. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no inference or presumption. </li></ul>
  3. 5. Circumstantial Evidence <ul><li>A collection of facts that, when considered together, can be used to infer a conclusion about something unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually a theory, supported by a significant quantity of corroborating evidence </li></ul>
  4. 6. <ul><li>If a witness testifies that the defendant was seen entering a house, then screaming was heard, then the defendant was seen leaving, carrying a bloody knife, that is circumstantial evidence; if a witness testifies that he/she actually saw the defendant stabbing the victim, that is direct evidence. Similarly, if a videotape is entered into evidence showing the defendant entering the house, stabbing the victim, and leaving the house, that too is direct evidence. </li></ul>
  5. 7. Privileged Communications <ul><li>Any communications that cannot be required to be presented in court as evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Spouses, parisioners and clergy, patients and doctors, lawyers and clients </li></ul><ul><li>There are exceptions to the rule related to spouses </li></ul>
  6. 8. Similar Fact Evidence <ul><li>Evidence that shows the accused has committed similar offences in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Used by the Crown to imply that the accused has committed the offence before and thus again. </li></ul><ul><li>Discredits the accused’s past </li></ul><ul><li>Can be extremely damaging and will often not be allowed </li></ul>
  7. 9. Hearsay Evidence <ul><li>Something that someone other than the witness has said or written. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually not admitted as evidence. However… </li></ul><ul><li>An out-of-court statement may be admitted, but only as proof it was made, not its content </li></ul><ul><li>If quoting a person who was dying </li></ul><ul><li>Must be necessary and reliable </li></ul>
  8. 10. Opinion Evidence <ul><li>What an expert witness thinks about certain facts in a case </li></ul><ul><li>Unless the expert is qualified, his or her opinion is generally inadmissable </li></ul><ul><li>To be admitted it must be relevant and necessary to help the judge or jury make a decision. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be powerful as the witness may be seen as infallible. Such evidence should only be allowed if the topic is outside the ‘experience and knowledge of a judge or jury’ </li></ul>
  9. 11. Character Evidence <ul><li>The Crown may not use questions to indicate the accused has a criminal character or nature </li></ul><ul><li>The defence is allowed to use character evidence to support the accused’s credibility </li></ul><ul><li>If the defence does this, the Crown may then present Similar Fact Evidence </li></ul>
  10. 12. Photographs <ul><li>May be entered as evidence if they can be identified to be an accurate portrait of the crime scene </li></ul><ul><li>If meant to merely inflame the jury, the evidence may not be allowed </li></ul>
  11. 13. Electronic Devices and Video <ul><li>Only admissible if the rules have been followed </li></ul><ul><li>Generally this means a warrant </li></ul><ul><li>Police may intercept communications if they believe the situation to be an emergency </li></ul><ul><li>If one person consents, there may be a recording </li></ul><ul><li>This should treated as a last resort </li></ul><ul><li>Public video surveillance does not need warrants, but one on private property do </li></ul>
  12. 14. Polygraph Evidence <ul><li>Are considered hearsay and thus inadmissible </li></ul><ul><li>Operator could only speak to whether the test took place, not the answers given. </li></ul>
  13. 15. Confessions <ul><li>Any statement made by an individual who was not told of his rights, can be excluded </li></ul><ul><li>A statement can be inculpatory (admission) or exculpatory (denial) </li></ul><ul><li>If there is reason to believe that a confession was not voluntary, it may be rejected (promising leniency can cause this) </li></ul>
  14. 16. Illegally Obtained Evidence <ul><li>Would admitting the evidence bring the ‘administration of justice into disrepute’? This relies on whether ‘the reasonable person’ fully informed of the facts, would be shocked if a judge allowed the evidence to be admitted. </li></ul>