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53 votes

A man killed my son and married one of the witnesses. Can the witness's statements still be used in court against him?

Short Answer SIMPLIFIED AND UPDATED BASED ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN THE QUESTION: The marriage is valid, but their marriage will not allow the girlfriend to refuse to testify as a witness in the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
49 votes
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No evidence is required for an indictment by a grand jury?

An indictment is issued by a grand jury when they are convinced, on the basis of evidence presented to them by the government, that there is probable cause to believe that the person committed a crime....
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Why is the defendant presumed guilty in traffic court?

It seems like the officer should have to present at least some kind of evidence that the alleged crime occurred. Testimony is evidence. Officers can and do abuse this, but courts tend to give them ...
phoog's user avatar
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37 votes
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Why can courts refuse evidence?

Different exclusionary rules have different reasons. Hearsay is frequently inadmissible because it's less reliable for the court to hear Alice saying "Bob told me that Carol hit him" than to ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.5k
36 votes
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Admissibility as evidence of photographs taken by a mobile phone

You are asking about what is known as "authentication" of real evidence. Photographic and digital image evidence is not presumptively inadmissible, but nor is it automatically admissible. ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
33 votes
Accepted

How do civil courts handle denial of evidence as forged, tampered, or claims that 'I did not sign it' or 'That's not me'?

Just like every other contested assertion They hear the testimony (evidence-in-chief, cross-examination, redirect), look at whatever physical evidence and submissions on the law that the party wishes ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
31 votes
Accepted

Are unaudited server logs admissible in a court of law?

Whether evidence is admissible in court or not doesn't depend on whether it conforms to any standard, compliance, or certification. Those factors may affect how strong the evidence is (i.e how ...
Shazamo Morebucks's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Can a witness be ignorant about a question asked to him in court?

Yes "I don't know" answers are quite common in trials, and are perfectly acceptable. Indeed in some cases the aim of a question, particularly on cross examination, may be to get a witness to ...
David Siegel's user avatar
31 votes

When does silence imply consent?

Silence itself does not generally imply consent, but in the context of a history of transacting, silence in the face of continued actions by the other side can indicate consent. Here's a fun little ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
31 votes

How would mathematical demonstratives be used in a court?

For simple math, it is sufficient to present a demonstrative exhibit that uses data from already admitted evidence to show more or less step by step how something was calculated. And, courts can take ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
29 votes

Can a covert recording be used as evidence in UK civil court?

Yes, you can ask permission from the court. From this page (by a firm of solicitors): Recording a conversation in secret is not a criminal offence and is not prohibited. As long as the recording is ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
  • 13.5k
28 votes

Could we understand that someone who is still 'innocent until proven otherwise', be 'possibly' guilty?

First we should be more specific about a person being "accused" – we should disregard lunatic rantings, and limit our attention to a person who has been officially, legally accused of a ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
27 votes

Why is a witness evidentiary if it cannot be disproven?

The general rule is that sworn testimony of a witness with personal knowledge of the facts is competent evidence. A guilty verdict in a criminal case will only be upheld on appeal if sufficient ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
26 votes

Why can courts refuse evidence?

You need to ask why evidence gets excluded. For example evidence that was obtained by a search without a proper warrant. That's not excluded to protect criminals, it's excluded so that law abiding ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 34.2k
25 votes

Can evidence a person gives to aid an investigation then be used to prosecute that person for an unrelated crime?

There are essentially no such limits on the use of such evidence. The police are free to use evidence from one case in whatever other cases it may be helpful, and criminals have no right to turn over ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.3k
24 votes

Are unaudited server logs admissible in a court of law?

Documents are not evidence - testimony is evidence Documents don’t just magically become “evidence” - somebody (or more than one somebody) gives evidence about them. That is, they give testimony ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
23 votes

Are jurors instructed to not be influenced by the emotions of the witnesses?

No. Jurors generally do not receive such an instruction and it is not a rule of law or evidence. Jurors have to rule in accordance with the law, but how they judge the credibility of witnesses may be ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
23 votes

Can messenger chat be used as evidence in courts?

Online conversations are generally allowed evidence. However, EVERYTHING in the chat should be considered, as well as any later actions. Were there later conversations that said something different? ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 3,166
22 votes

If the Jury considers evidence that should be discarded in the US, what would the result be?

The jury would never hear the recording The recording and its provenience would be provided to the prosecution who would, rightly, have issues with its admissibility. The defence and prosecution would ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
22 votes

Is the saying that "cops can use anything you say against you" overstated or understated?

It is somewhat understated, because your silence can also be used against you. In Salinas v. Texas, defendant Salinas was "just talking" to police, not in custody, and his silence (as ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
22 votes
Accepted

Is producing a lookalike a sufficient defense against eye-witness identification?

Whether there is a reasonable doubt about identity will depend on the totality of the evidence, not a single look-alike The starting point is that all relevant evidence is admissible, including ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
21 votes
Accepted

How does the law deal with translating inherently ambiguous writing systems?

canada Courts will rely on expert evidence for translations The evidence can be presented, but parties seeking a particular interpretation would present expert opinion evidence on the issue. It would ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
18 votes

Do data protection officers typically have any actual incentive to integrity in their performance of statutory duty?

Spoliation of evidence, once a suit is filed The reason Bob requests the video from Alice Corp is not that he is concerned about his GDPR rights, it is because he wants to file a lawsuit. In fact, it ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 39.8k
18 votes

If the Jury considers evidence that should be discarded in the US, what would the result be?

If the jury brings in a verdict of "not guilty", even if they do so based on evidence that they should not have considered or for some other improper reason, the defendant is released and ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Introducing evidence into trial in the US

How does one introduce evidence into trial? Do all evidences have to be introduce into trial before trial starts? Can I bring evidences on the day of the trial and introduce them on the fly to the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
17 votes

Why is the defendant presumed guilty in traffic court?

European viewpoint: "Innocent until proven guilty" relates only to the criminal process. There is also an "administrative process" where the traffic control pretty much belongs, as ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 1,299
17 votes
Accepted

Notice of uncontroverted facts in criminal trials

This is known as Judicial notice and is used in many jurisdictions. It is normally supposed to be used only for facts about which there could be no possible controversy. The Wikipedia article linked ...
David Siegel's user avatar
17 votes

Is there any way to save a Facebook post as a third-party evidence in court?

In the United States, it does not matter how you save any evidence; the other side will essentially always be permitted to question its authenticity. Even if they don't question it, a judge or jury ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.3k

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