CJUS440-1402B-02: The Laws of Evidence
Types of Legal Evidence
Evidence can be as diverse as people; however, when looking to collect any type of evidence, it will typically be separated into one of two categories: real evidence or testimonial. Real evidence is considered to be tangible, such as, it will be anything that the five senses can perceive (Worral, Hemmens, & Nored, 2012, p. 71). Articles of clothing, weapons, contracts or legal documentation, and photographs are all examples of tangible / real evidence. Additionally, within this same category of real evidence, “demonstrative” evidence will also be included. This type of evidence would be anything that can actually demonstrate the crime and/or scene. For example, a technician may make drawings of a crime scene in which an individual has been murdered. This particular drawing will typically show the surroundings, such as a bedroom, alley, building, etc. in which the victim had been found. The drawings will show pertinent information such as where the victim was found in relation to the physical location, for example, perhaps the victim was lying next to a door trying to escape the attach, the drawing will show exactly which door the victim was closest too. Testimonial evidence is again exactly as it suggests, testimony made by a witness of some kind; an eye witness, expert witness, law enforcement witness. Testimonials can come in different forms. Frequently, law enforcement will take statements from individuals who they believe may have information due to what they have seen or heard; however, the importance of testimonials in not necessary in the statement, but how, when, and by whom the information is obtained. It is of extreme importance that any witness that provides testimony is able to provide that same information under oath, without having an individual bear witness under oath, the prosecutor runs the risk of the statement being inadmissible (Worral, Hemmens, & Nored, 2012, p....
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Worral, J. L., Hemmens, C., & Nored, L. (2012). Criminal Evidence - An Introduction (Second Edition ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.
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