Laws of Evidence

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Evidence law, Federal Rules of Evidence, Relevance
  • Pages : 8 (2574 words )
  • Download(s) : 346
  • Published : December 2, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Memorandum
To:
From:
Date:08/31/2012
Re:Laws of Evidence Assignment #2
Statement of Assignment
You have asked me to analyze and determine whether the evidence that prosecution would like to introduce at trial can be admitted based on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Pursuant to your request, this memo includes my analysis, reasoning, and conclusions regarding the admissibility of such evidence. Statement of Facts

The defendant was prosecuted for the murder of his wife. The victim’s body was never recovered, no murder weapon was ever found, and there were no witnesses to the crime. At trial, prosecution would like to introduce the following as evidence: 1. A computer disk, found in the defendant’s desk, that contains a file named “murder” which appears to be a twenty six step guide on how to carry out a murder. 2. A witness who will testify that two days prior to the victim’s disappearance, the defendant purchased a .25 caliber pistol. 3. A witness who will testify that the defendant told him that the best way to kill someone else was to shoot them behind the ear. 4. A witness who will testify that the defendant told her that she shouldn’t be surprised if six months down the road… “you hear that Shirley is dead because I am going to kill her.” 5. A witness who will testify that the defendant asked him how he could remove blood from concrete. 6. A witness who will testify that the defendant told her that there might be bodies hidden in the mine shafts in Pennsylvania, and that if he wanted to get rid of his wife, nobody would ever see her again. Defense objects to this evidence being introduced, claiming that it is irrelevant and more prejudicial than probative.

ISSUES PRESENTED

Based on the Federal Rules of Evidence, Rules 401, 402, and 403…. I. Is the computer disk that contains a twenty six step guide on how to carry out a murder and was found in the defendant’s desk admissible evidence in this case? II. Is a witness who will testify that two days prior to the victim’s disappearance, the defendant purchased a .25 caliber pistol admissible evidence in this case? III. Is a witness who will testify that the defendant told him that the best way to kill someone else was to shoot them behind the ear admissible evidence in this case? IV. A witness who will testify that the defendant told her that she shouldn’t be surprised if six months down the road… “you hear that Shirley is dead because I am going to kill her.” V. Is a witness who will testify that the defendant asked him how he could remove blood from concrete admissible evidence in this case? VI. Is a witness who will testify that the defendant told her that there might be bodies hidden in the mine shafts in Pennsylvania, and that if he wanted to get rid of his wife, nobody would ever see her again admissible evidence in this case? DISCUSSION OF RELEVANT RULES

Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence defines evidence as relevant if it has a tendency to make the existence of a fact that is of importance to the case more or less likely than it would be if the evidence did not exist. See Fed. R. Evid. 401(2011). The evidence by itself does not have to prove the main issue for which it is offered. The tendency to make an important element even the slightest bit more or less likely is enough to make the evidence relevant. Whether or not evidence proves or helps to prove a fact that is important to the case is a key element in determining the admissibility of evidence. If this element is satisfied, then the evidence has probative value. Rule 402 of the Federal Rules of Evidence provides that, unless prohibited by the United States Constitution, a federal statute, rules of the Supreme Court, or the Federal Rules of Evidence, relevant evidence is admissible. See Fed. R. Evid. 402(2011). Although relevance is a required element for the admissibility of evidence, it is not a sufficient one. According to Rule 403 of...
tracking img