Demonstrative evidence illustrates the witness’s testimony. Illustrations include: maps, diagrams of the initial crime scene, charts and/or graphs the injuries to the plaintiff. Injuries could be defined as physical or financial. These are used at trial by both the plaintiff and the opposing council. (“Real and Demonstrative Evidence”)
There are different types of evidence and in this writing I will discuss eight specific types of demonstrative evidence. Photos are considered to be demonstrative evidence that is shown during trial. I know you might have heard the saying “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” well that is fairly true. Photos can prove that a person was at the scene of the crime, and it could also show the offender acting out the crime they are being charged for. In today’s society everyone has their phone at the ready; just waiting for something to happen. This goes into my next demonstrative evidence; video. (“Leesfield Scolaro, P.A.”)
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I did mention everyone having their smart phone ready, well majority of the time people starting recording incidents either when the confrontation begins or when physical harm to another person has begun. In my own opinion sometimes video footage just isn’t enough to bring charges against a person. I’ve seen several police officers that have gotten away with their behavior towards persons in a community. They may have gotten a written remark in their records or even administrative paid leave, but some have not been brought on guilty charges.
Sound recordings are another example of demonstrative evidence, and I’ve seen this being used a lot in the earlier days. What I have seen is that a lot of undercover personnel use hidden wires to get the other person to admit to a crime that was committed. This can be used as evidence to get someone put into prison.
Drawings are another form of demonstrative evidence. I would prefer to use sketches as way to describe the kind of drawing being used. A lot of victims are able to describe the offender to law enforcement to get a visual on the person that committed the crime against them. Usually they can use the sketch with the facial recognition software and try to get a match in their facial database.
Diagrams or maps are known as demonstrative evidence. These are used in some cases to show the jury or witnesses to simply the explanation of where scene of the crime happened. Maps should be clear and focused to ensure that the information you are trying to display to the targeted audience is understandable. (Publishing, 2014.)
Simulations as demonstrative evidence can be known to not be as clear compared to an actual witness’s testimony. Along with the other demonstrative evidence, it is hard to replicate what actually happened in that moment. We have come a long way with technology and we have a lot of experts that are able to replicate some of the things so that when it is presented to the court as a visual, then the court can get an understanding of what happened.
My eight demonstrative evidence would be that the jury is presented with forensic animation. Which is an audio-visual reconstruction of the incident that is being brought to trial. This form of evidence is being used more often in our courtrooms because it provides detailed information for the court so they can get a very clear understanding on what happened.
Authentication of evidence is done before evidence is admitted to the court. It means that the party that wants to present the evidence during trial must state what the document is what it claims to be. This does not mean that the document will be sufficient enough to prove the offender being innocent or guilty. Authentication will also prevent the party from fraudulently creating the document.
Authentication of the evidence and the relevance of the evidence are related because once the authentication of the document is complete and it is admitted to the court, then the opposing party needs to see that what is in the authenticated evidence is either true or false. Is this proof relevant to the case or not? (2012)
There are several steps to authenticate evidence. Decide, When, Mark, Show, Identify, Introduce and Argue. The party needs to decide if the document they want to admit as evidence is what they say it is. You need to mark the document stating what it is; i.e., Exhibit A is the orange shirt the offender was wearing. You need to show the evidence to the parties staying that this will be the evidence being presented to the court. Introduce the evidence to the jury and of course the opposing party will try and argue that the evidence being presented is not accurate.
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Certain items like pictures, computer printouts and maps can be authenticated. For computer printouts can have a lot of information; this can come from their personal computer or other electronic devices like the person’s cell phone. The person who found the digital information will have to testify during trial. Stating what was found and to state what was showing is what the evidence claims to be. With photographic evidence, before it is admitted as evidence it needs to show the actual scene of the incident. Meaning that it must be relevant, clear and not distorted. Evidence being admitted that is of a map or diagram; the attorney needs to be very clear when presenting it to the jury. If they have the witness point to the map or diagram and they have to state the jury what they are pointing at, and then of course you would need to show the jury so they can get a better understanding. (Larocca, 1975)
Chain of custody if very important when handing evidence. It is a written record of all of the individuals who have maintained unbroken control of the items that are considered evidence for the case. It shows that if it remains unbroken, that the evidence taken from the crime scene, will be the same evidence presented to the court. It is very important because this can ensure that the prosecutor put away the correct suspect that committed the crime. If the chain of custody was broken, the evidence will be dismissed from the court and that can also get the case dismissed.
Real and Demonstrative Evidence. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2017, from http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/real-and-demonstrative-evidence.html
Leesfield, I. (n.d.). Leesfield Scolaro, P.A. Retrieved March 01, 2017, from https://www.leesfield.com/effective-use-of-demonstrative-evidence.html
Publishing, J. (2014, November 07). Using Charts, Diagrams, Graphs, and Maps in the Courtroom. Retrieved March 01, 2017, from http://jamespublishing.com/2014/using-charts-diagrams-graphs-maps-courtroom/
(2012, November 7). Retrieved March 01, 2017, from http://federalevidence.com/blog/2012/july/foundation-admitting-documents-authentication-and-relevance
Larocca, N., Jr. (1975). Authentication, Identification, and the Best Evidence Rule,36(1), 1-30. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4140&context=lalrev
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