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Criminal Evidence - Dissertation Example

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To what extent is a characteristic of a witness taken into account in criminal proceedings? To establish accurately the character integrity of a witness, and the trustworthiness of evidence, is an essential aspect in all successful rulings. Every rational individual could be a witness; however, the trustworthiness of his/her testimony will depend on his/her interest in proclaiming or covering the truth…
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Criminal Evidence
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Download file to see previous pages The integrity of a witness is inferior, as the crime’s heinousness is superior. Experts on penal laws have taken on a different belief, that the trustworthiness of a witness is superior, for the criminal act is more unspeakable.2 In view of the above, this essay tries to answer the question: “to what extent is a characteristic of a witness is taken into account in criminal proceedings?” In order to clearly illustrate the arguments, this paper includes case law and statutes that govern the role played by witnesses in criminal cases. The author uses extensive library research and literature review. Role of Witnesses in Criminal Cases One of the objectives of criminal law is to make sure that the public honour the legal system in general and avoid perpetrating crimes. But, if an individual perpetrates a criminal act, their culpability should be determined through a properly established process and a justified penalty must be given. Criminal law specifies the provisions for implementing procedures in criminal cases, lays down the groups sanctioned to perform these procedures, the kind of procedures and the outcomes of violating the prerequisites of the law. As specified by the Law on Criminal Procedure, one of these processes is the evaluation of witnesses.3 The notion of witness should be viewed from two perspectives. Firstly, the identity and character of the witness, and, secondly, the reason the witness is involved in the trial; in short, the focus of the witness’ evidence should be determined. Criminal law permits and mandates the pertinent groups to determine the accuracy of evidence so as to take appropriate actions or make judgments.4 Evidence can be verified through a variety of ways, such as interrogating of witnesses. The interrogation of witnesses is strongly governed by a chain of legal prerequisites verifying the identity and character of the witness, those who should not be allowed as witness, the duties and rights of a witness, the handling of witnesses by officials carrying out the procedures, the interrogation methods, the principles, the assessment of the capacity of the witness to testify, the methods to document evidence, and the outcomes of breaching the abovementioned prerequisites.5 Evidence from a witness is a statement by an individual who is not the focus of criminal procedures. The statement is given to the group carrying out the procedure which will exercise it to assess the evidence on account of which the judgment shall be given. For example, the statement can be raised by the court in passing judgment, the prosecutor when making a decision whether to impeach, and by the accused when petitioning against the charges.6 Hence, witnesses play a very important role in criminal cases. Their importance goes above legal systems and is not confined to a specific form of bureaucratic structure or stage in the growth of a legal system. Even though recognised in different periods and territories as a useful and justifiable ground in which to establish a criminal sentence, evidence given by witnesses has long been dealt with doubt. Witnesses could bend the truth, overlook relevant details, recall events inaccurately or simply misunderstand an incident. In addition, witness may be influenced or manoeuvred and their testimony may hinge on the questions which will be thrown at them. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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