1.Why must a criminal investigator know the rules of evidence?
It is the criminal investigators responsibility to collect and preserve evidence that will later be used in court to aid in a prosecution. It is essential that the criminal investigator knows the rules of evidence because lack of such knowledge could result in inadmissibility of the evidence to be used against the defendant in court.
2.What is the hearsay rule and why does it exist?
Hearsay evidence is where a testifying witness with no experience or factual knowledge of the event repeats information heard outside of court from someone else. It’s an overheard version of truth used to testify by a second hand witness. Since the first hand witness isn’t in the courtroom, the defendant cannot cross examine them. It exists because when stories are repeated, they are often changed and thus their reliability is questionable, making such evidence inadmissible with a few exceptions in the hearsay rule.
3.Describe the manner in which circumstantial evidence is used in a criminal prosecution.
Circumstantial evidence is basically evidence that has been drawn or inferred from a series of facts to draw the conclusion that a defendant is connected to a certain crime. The series of facts could just be a series of unfortunate events and do not constitute guilt. However, the more facts there are to infer from, the higher likelihood that the juror is going to infer guilt.
4.What factors affect the credibility of the investigator as a witness?
For law enforcement officers as witnesses, the public usually expects nothing to be short of perfection from an officers’ performance of duties and presentation of testimony, such may affect the credibility. Perceptions of the jurors may also affect an officers’ credibility with defense attorneys seeking to discredit the testimony of the officer. By preparing for the testimony and giving straight forward and non-emotional