52 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 ...
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  • 139k
50 votes
Accepted

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....
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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 ...
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  • 25.2k
37 votes

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

In addition to David's answer - it's more than acceptable for a witness to say that they don't know the answer; it's a requirement of their oath / affirmation to say "I don't know" if they ...
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  • 23k
33 votes
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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 ...
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  • 157k
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 ...
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30 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 ...
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  • 97.1k
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 ...
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  • 12.2k
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 ...
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  • 165k
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 ...
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  • 139k
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 ...
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  • 45.2k
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 ...
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  • 157k
21 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 ...
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  • 139k
17 votes

No evidence is required for an indictment by a grand jury?

Beyond Nate Eldredge's excellent answer, I just want to focus on one portion of your question: "to deny commission of a crime is a "lie" apparently if the agent thinks you committed the crime." The ...
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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 ...
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  • 931
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 ...
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  • 97.1k
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 ...
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  • 45.2k
17 votes

Legal/jurisprudential term to refer to any evidence that can be interpreted either way

Is there such a phrase in jurisprudential or legal thought? In those instances it is common to say that the evidence is inconclusive. Accordingly, it is unavailing because that evidence does not ...
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15 votes

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

Yes, it is possible for active but as-of-yet unproven charges to have legal effect. One example I'm aware of is when attempting to buy a firearm in Illinois. If you have pending criminal charges, ...
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  • 3,440
14 votes

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

I'd imagine that testimony from the defendant is rare enough that in the majority of cases, prosecutors do not meaningfully prepare for a cross examination. To the extent they do, I'd expect the ...
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  • 45.2k
14 votes

Obtaining information that requires a court order but before to going to the court?

There are two cases to distinguish: information that the other party does not want to give without court order, and information that the other party may not give without court order. Only the former ...
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  • 4,874
14 votes

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

In general, there is no right under the US Constitution not to have evidence that has been voluntarily provided for another purpose used for further criminal investigation. The premise of the question ...
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  • 97.1k
14 votes

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

The presumption of innocence is simply that - a presumption Presumption: the act of believing that something is true without having any proof. The truth value of the presumption is undefined and not ...
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  • 157k
13 votes
Accepted

Why isn't double jeopardy overruled by new conclusive evidence?

Why do other countries, like America, not allow this? It is the way that U.S. courts have interpreted the constitutional amendment requirement and reflects a policy judgment that letting someone go ...
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  • 139k
12 votes

Why is the defendant presumed guilty in traffic court?

However, if it's his word against mine ... I don't know the US point of view, but I have read that in Germany the courts evaluate the "evidence" (which includes statements of witnesses) by ...
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11 votes

Applying Bayes' Theorem to law and forensic evidence

You have to deconstruct the question on a country by country basis. In the US legal system, the question presupposes something incorrect, that there are "investigators" who play a rule in ...
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  • 165k
11 votes
Accepted

Legal/jurisprudential term to refer to any evidence that can be interpreted either way

While not a "one word answer", the phrase that I most frequently see for that concept is "susceptible to more than one reasonable interpretation". The concept, by the way, is ...
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  • 139k
10 votes
Accepted

Can a store accuse me of something and ban me without proof?

In theory, a store can ban you or anyone else for any reason except those protected by law against discrimination. As a practical matter, you potentially have various forms of recourse. The first ...
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  • 6,140
10 votes
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What remedies are there if it was subsequently discovered that a witness lied at trial?

What remedies are therein the United States? I would imagine that the witness could be prosecuted for perjury. My guess is that the plaintiff could prosecute the witness for the lost damages. Are ...
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  • 139k
10 votes

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

According to https://www.baezlawfirm.com/can-your-spouse-be-forced-to-testify-against-you/ Section 90.504 of Florida’s Evidence Code includes the privilege to exclude "marital communications" from the ...
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