My Soul Is Rested

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Five key issues
Who is competent to testify?
How is the credibility of A WITNESS ATTACKED?
WHAT CAN BE DONE IF THE WITNESSS MEMORY IS FAULTY?
WHAT IS A LAY PERSON ALLOWED TO TESTIFY ABOUT?
HOW AND WHEN ARE EXPERT WITNESSES ALLOWED TO TESTIFY?

COMPETENT WITNESS DIFINED:
A COMPETENT WITNESS IS A PERSON WHO
1. UNDERSTANDS THE DUTY TO TELL THE TRUTH
2. CAN NARRATE THE EVENTS IN QUESTIONS
NOTE: IF THERE IS A QUESTION ABOUT THE COMPETENCE OF A WITNESS, A VOIR DIRE HEARING WILL BE HELD BEFORE THE PERSON TAKES THE STAND. DURING THESE HEARING ATTORNEYS FOR BOTH SIDES QUESTION THE WITNESS WITHOUT THE JURY PRESENT. IMPEACHMENT DEFINED:

IMPEACHMENT IS THE PROCESS OF ATTACKING THE CREDITBILITY OF A WITNESS SIX MAIN METHODS OF IMPEACHMENT
1. BIAS OR PREJUDICE
2. PRIOR FELONY CONVICTIONS
3. IMMORAL ACTS AND UNCHARGED CRIMES
4. PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS
5. INABILITY TO OBSERVE
6. REPUTATION FOR HONESTY

BIAS OR PREJUDICE

IF A PERSON IS BIASED OR PREJUDICED IT CAN BE INFERRED THAT HE OR SHE CANNOT TESTIFY OBJECTIVELY. THIS APPLIES IF THE WITNESS HAS EITHER FAVORABLE OR INFAVORIABLE FEELINGS TOWARD ONE SIDE. BIAS OR PREJUDICE CAN BE INFERRED IF:

*FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN WITNESS AND PARTY TO THE CHASE
*FAMILY TIES
PRIOR CONVICTIONS
*MANY STATE INLY ALLOW THE USE OF FELONY CONVICTIONS
*SOMESTATE ALLOW ALL CONVICTIONS TO BE USED TI IMPEACH
*A FEW STATES RSTRICT THE USE OF COVICTIONS TO THOSE FOR CRIMES INVOVLING DISHONESTY

UNCHARGED CRIMES AND IMMORAL ACTS
*UNCHARGED CRIMES AND IMMORAL ACTS USUALLY FOLLOW SAME GUIDELINES

PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS
*PIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS CAN BE USED
*STATEMENT DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE BEEN MADE TO POLICE
*CAN USE STATEMENTS IN CONFESSION THAT IS NOT ADMISSIBLE DUE TO MIRANDA ERRORS

PROCEDURE:
*DURING CROSS EXAM, THE WITNESS IS ASK IF HE OR SHE PREVIOUSLY MADE THE INCONSISTENT STATEMENT *MUST TELL WITNESS WHEN STATEMENT WAS MADE AND TO WHOM

INABLILITY TO OBSERVE

INABILITY TO OBSERVE CAN BE BASED ON:
1. PHYSICAL HANDICAPS OF THE WITNESS
EXAMPLE: POOR EYESIGHT, LOSS OF HEARING
2. OBSTRUCTION AT THE SCENE, OR
3. WITNESS WAS TOO FAR AWAY TO SEE OR HEAR THE EVENT IN QUESTION

REHABILITATION

AN IMPEACHED WITNESS CAN BE REHANILITATED
*IMPEACHMENT IS DONE DURING CROSS EXAMINATION
*REHABILITATION IS DONE DURING RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION

PROCESS:
* ATTORNEY WHO ORIGINALLY CALLED THE WITNESS CAN ASK QUESTIONS IN AN EFFORT TO REASSURE THE JURT THAT THE WITNESS IS CREDIBLE * MAY EXPLAIN ANSWERS THAT WERE GIVEN DURING CFROSS
* MAY SHOW THAT STATEMENTS WERE TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT

CORROBORATION
CORROBORATION ENHANCES THE CREIDIBILTY OF A WITNESS BUT IT DOES NOT MERELY DUPLICATE IT. * TESTIMONY OF ANOTHER WITNESS OR PHYSICAL EVIDENCE CAN BE USED FOR CORROBOATION * IN A FEW INSTANCES THE LAW REQUIRES CORROBORATION:

* TESTIMONY OF A CO-CONSPIRATOR
* THE CRIME OF FALSE PRETENSE
* SOME STATES HAVE CORRBORATION REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER CRIMES

MEMORY FAILURES
* PRESENT MEMORY REFRESHED
* MEMORY OF THE PERSON WHO IS TESTIFYING HAS SUCCESSFULLY BEEN REFRESHED * CAN USE ANYTHING AVAIBLE TO REFRESH MEMORY
* OPPOSING SIDE HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT WAS USED TO REFRESH MEMORY AND TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT IT PAST RECOLLECTION RECORDED
* PERSON WHO IS TESTIFYING HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY REFRESHED HIS/ HER MEMORY * PRIOR RECORDED STATEMENT MADE BY THE WITNESS MAY BE ADMISSIBLE PAST RECOLLECTION RECORDED
REQUIREMENTS:
1. THE STATEMENT WOULD BE ADMISSIBLE IF THE PERSON WHO MADE IT TESTIFIED AT THE CURRENT TRAIL 2. THE WITNESS CURRENTLY HAS INSUFFICIENT PRESENT RECOLLECTION TO TESTIFY FULLY AND ACCURATELY 3. THE REPORT WAS MADE AT A TIME WHEN THE FACTS WERE FRESH IN THE MEMORY OF THE WITNESS 4. THE REPORT WAS MADE BY THE WITNESS,SOMEONE UNDER HIS OR HER DIRECTION,OR BY ANOHTER PERSON FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECORDING THE WITNESSES STATEMENT 5. THE WITENSS CAN TESTIFY THAT...
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