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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 44523 Find in a Library
Title: DEFENSE'S ROLE (FROM INVESTIGATION OF ARSON, CRIME SCENES AND VEHICULAR PROBLEMS, 1976 BY WILLIAM G ECKERT - SEE NCJ-44516)
Author(s): L MUNKER
Corporate Author: Inform Milton Helpern International
Ctr for Forensic Sciences
Wichita State University
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Inform Milton Helpern International
Wichita, KS 67214
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TECHNIQUES WHICH MAY BE EMPLOYED BY THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN CHALLENGING A PROSECUTOR'S CASE AND QUESTIONING HIS EXPERT WITNESSES ARE PRESENTED.
Abstract: OF ALL FELONY CASES WHICH ARE PROSECUTED, 85 PERCENT ARE RESOLVED BY A GUILTY PLEA; THE OTHER 15 PERCENT ARE RESOLVED BY A TRIAL OR BY DISMISSAL OF CHARGES. IF A CASE IS DISMISSED, SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH THE PROSECUTOR'S EVIDENCE. THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY MUST CONCENTRATE ON THE CRIME SCENE IF HE IS GOING TO FIND A HOLE IN THE PROSECUTOR'S CASE. THE PRIMARY ROLE OF THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY IS SEEN AS ONE OF TESTING THE CREDIBILITY OF THE WITNESSES. IF HE CANNOT CHALLENGE A WITNESS'S CREDIBILITY, THEN HE MAY CHALLENGE THE ADMISSIBILITY OF THE EVIDENCE. IF CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS MAKE ERRORS OR ARE CARELESS IN PRESERVING EVIDENCE THEY HAVE FOUND, THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY CAN QUESTION THEM, MAKE THEIR TESTIMONY IMPROBABLE, AND CAST DOUBTS ON THEIR CREDIBILITY. ONE TECHNIQUE EMPLOYED BY THE DEFENSE IN QUESTIONING THE PROSECUTION'S EXPERT WITNESS IS THAT OF CALLING AN EQUALLY QUALIFIED EXPERT. THIS EXPERT MAY SAY WHAT TECHNIQUES SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED IN TESTING A PARTICULAR SUBSTANCE OR ITEM. IF THE PROSECUTION'S EXPERT HAS NOT USED THIS PROCEDURE, THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY MAY ASK HIM WHY HE DID NOT AND QUESTION THE EFFECT THE DISCREPANCY MAY HAVE HAD UPON THE FINDINGS, THUS CAUSING THE JURY TO DOUBT HIS TESTIMONY. (VDA)
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Cross-examination; Defense counsel; Expert witnesses
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44523

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