8-4. What are the three types of evidence that may be offered at trial?
In the United States, the justice system is set to ensure that all people of the nation have access to a fair trial and are protected under common law. During a trial the prosecutor (state) as well as the defendant (defense) present all evidence to the judge or the grand jury to support their case. Evidence is anything that is relevant and supports the case. It is very difficult to reach a verdict when there is lack of evidence. According to Kranacher, Riley, and Wells (2011), any document legally presented in a trial to sway the judge or jury is called evidence (p. 145). The three types of evidence that are used in the justice system are: testimony, real and demonstrative evidence. These types of evidence help the judge or the jurors come to a final decision and conclude whether the defendant is innocent or guilty of the crime.
When witnesses take the stand in court and provide an oral statement under oath, this type of evidence is known as testimony. Witnesses who testify in court are asked questions by attorneys from both side of the case or by providing a deposition, which is to provide oral testimony under oath outside the courtroom (The Free Dictionary, 2012, par. 1). When a crime takes place, detectives (police) assigned to the case begin collecting evidence to hold the person accountable and to bring that person to justice. In the process, they question witnesses to get a better understanding of what took place and who was the perpetuator. These witnesses can be the state’s witnesses to support the charges brought against the defendant.
According to Demonstrative Evidence (2004), “real evidence is evidence that speaks for itself” (par. 3). Evidence that is directly tied to the crime scene is called real evidence. Physical evidence such as DNA found on the scene, blood samples, documents, fingerprints, shoe impression, and the murder weapon can be classified as real evidence....