The Circumstantial Evidence Generation Report

General rules of admissibility

For evidence to be admissible it has to be relevant, material and competent. Therefore, where it is shown that evidence is relevant material, and competent unless it is disqualified through exclusionary rule, it is considered to be permissible.

Evidence that is able make the fact it is offered to prove or disprove more or less probable is said to be relevant. If certainty can be shown from a fact offered then the same is relevant. Therefore, if any particular item of evidence tends to increase the likelihood of the fact upon which it is offered then it is relevant (Daubert 19992026). For instance, if the fact to be proved is that the defendant broke the plaintiff hand in a fight, testimony of an eye witness to that effect is admissible. Materiality of evidence occurs if the item of evidence is offered to prove a fact that is in issue in a suit. Issues in any given suit are borne by the pleadings, any formal stipulations or admissions as well as the applicable law. For instance if a defendant admits that plaintiff performed all his contractual obligations, proof of that performance becomes immaterial, unless it is relevant in some other issue.

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On the aspect of evidence being competent it is construed to be competent if it of reliability (Daubert v. , Inc., 509 US 579, 589 (1993)). Those three aspects of evidence form what is known as foundations of evidence. Where any of the three elements of admissibility is wanting, the evidence is said to be . As a whole, competent evidence is generally admissible if it is offered to prove a relevant and material fact. For instance, in criminal cases evidence of prior conduct of the accused even though it is not admissible to show that he acted similarly, however it may be admissible to show motive, intent, plan or lack of mistake.

A court can exclude evidence otherwise admissible where there is greater chance of finder of that fact, to use it improperly. Under such circumstances the probative value of the evidence is said to outweigh its prejudicial effects. Courts are also vested with the discretion of excluding admissible evidence if the same orchestrates delay, waste of time or causes uncertainty (Bocchino et al 99-106).

Real evidence

Evidence is said to be real if there exists a thing or characteristics of which are relevant as well as material. Therefore, real evidence constitutes a thing that was directly involved in some event in the suit. For instance, under this category of real evidence as well as murder weapon or scene of an accident. For real evidence to be admissible it must be relevant material and competent.

Evidence purporting to be what it is has to be proved. This prove is known as authentication. There are three methods of authenticating real evidence via identification of unique objects, identification of an object that has been made unique or through establishing a chain of custody. Unique objects can be identified by the testimony of a person who is familiar with the object. In identifying an object that has been made unique, a witness who has marked an object in court can be allowed to testify on its authenticity since he can differentiate it from other objects of bearing similarity. Missing link in the chain of custody of exhibit can bring problems if the exhibit was not marked (, 4-9).

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