E is for…Evidence

We all know that for someone to be found guilty there has to be evidence of their guilt. Something that convinces a jury that the person committed the crime they are being accused of committing. But what kinds of evidence might there be in a trial?

There are four types of evidence. A Canadian website and a U.S. website provided different names for them but they appear to be the same.

Direct Evidence
Circumstantial Evidence
Character Evidence
Hearsay or Second-Hand Evidence

OR

Real Evidence
Demonstrative Evidence
Documentary Evidence
Testimonial Evidence

I won’t go into all the rules of evidence or the definitions of each. I’ll provide a link for that. But there are very strict rules of what can be evidence, not to mention the hearsay rule. Years ago (2004?) I was on a jury. There was no direct (real) evidence in that case. It was all circumstantial. The Crown explained circumstantial evidence to us as being able to conclude that it was raining outside if someone walked into the room with an umbrella with water droplets dripping from it. Or something like that.

Though all we had was circumstantial evidence we found the guy guilty of second degree murder. Looking at it now it’s kind of scary that someone can be convicted of anything with no direct (real), tangible evidence.

Summary of Rules of Evidence

Kinds of Evidence Offered in Court

Until tomorrow…

Cindy

4 thoughts on “E is for…Evidence

  1. Nicki

    Just another A to Z Challenger here…

    Wow, it IS kind of scary that you can get convicted without direct evidence! However I will say that I appreciate having this sort of proof, as it’s impossible to see what everyone is doing every second of the day, and some bad folks are bound to get through.

    Great post!

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