Admissibility of Evidence



Admissibility evidence in a court of law infers to any testimonial or tangible evidence that is produced by a jury to bolster or to determine an argument presented by a party to the proceeding. Various factors make evidence admissible including its relevance, the rules of evidence and must have some indicia of reliability. There are different kinds of evidence including direct evidence, hearsay evidence, indirect evidence, real evidence, and testimonial evidence. This paper seeks to look into these different kinds of evidence. It will further examine the role of evidence in criminal trial proceedings as well as an evaluation of the collection and handling of evidence. 

Types of evidence

Direct evidence: it infers to any evidence that stands alone to prove an assertion. It offers a direct proof of a fact and does not require any inference. The most common kind of direct evidence is an eyewitness presented at a criminal trial. 

Hearsay evidence: this kind of evidence is an out of court statement, made in court to prove the truth of the matter being asserted (Miene, Park & Borgida, 1991). It simply denotes a kind of evidence made other than made by a witness while giving testimony.

Indirect evidence: this refers to a proof that does not prove the fact in question, but instead proves another, the possibility of which may result to the discovery of the truth that is being sought for.

Real evidence: this is evidence of any tangible object that exists that proves a material fact. It implies any physical thing that has a direct correlation to the civil action or crime (Imwinkelried, 1973).

Testimonial evidence: this evidence comprises of statements that are made in court by witnesses which are provided as proof of the matter being asserted.

Evidence plays a very significant role in any criminal proceeding. They are the basis under which one will be termed guilty or not. They form the basis for the decision making processes in the court. During the trial process, the jury is charged with the duty of looking into the evidence provided and determining their authenticity. It is important to know that evidence can be fabricated. When a clear analysis and evaluation of the evidence is not looked into, one can be given bad judgment. It is the evidence during the trial proceedings that will govern the use of exhibits such as physical objects or the use of testimony such as written or oral statements or demonstrative evidence or the documentary material (Edmond, 2017). This shows that they have a lot to play as some types of evidence such as demonstrative evidence are admissible in an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Collection and handling of evidence is also one critical area for any case that has been presented to a court. There is the legal guideline that shows people how they can collect and handle the evidence that they will be presenting in the court. Illegal collection of evidence is not allowed in a court of law. A witness should not be forced or completed to confess something that he does not want (Wang, 2017). There are alternatives that are used to make people providing evidence to issue their evidence other than forcing them. One such way is through giving them immunity. It is recommended to use your own jurisdiction rules during the trial proceeding. However, this has risks and benefits associated with it. It is therefore wise to only use it when one is sure of all the evidence that he or she is having.

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  1. Edmond, G., & Roberts, A. (2017). The Law Commission’s Report on Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings. Expert Evidence and Scientific Proof in Criminal Trials.
  2. Imwinkelried, E. J. (1973). The Identification of Original, Real Evidence. Mil. L. Rev., 61, 145.
  3. Miene, P., Park, R. C., & Borgida, E. (1991). Juror decision making and the evaluation of hearsay evidence. Minn. L. Rev., 76, 683.
  4. Wang, Z., & Caruso, D. R. (2017). Is an oral-evidence based criminal trial possible in China?. The International Journal of Evidence & Proof21(1-2), 52-68.
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