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NCJ Number: 63959 Find in a Library
Title: DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE FROM THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY'S POINT OF VIEW (FROM DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS, 1979 - SEE NCJ-63957)
Author(s): H DAHS
Corporate Author: Internationale Studien
Bundesinstituts Fuer
Ostwissenschafliche und
West Germany (Former)
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 5
Format: Document
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: NEW TYPES OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE GIVE UNDUE ADVANTAGE TO POLICE EXPERT WITNESSES AND UNDERMINE THE RIGHTS OF THE DEFENSE.
Abstract: DUE TO THE PROGRESS OF FORENSIC CRIMINOLOGY IN THE PAST DECADE, DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE (MATERIAL PROOF AND EXPERT WITNESSES) IS REPLACING THE CONVENTIONAL TYPES OF EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL TRIALS. IN THE COURTROOM, DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE IS CONSIDERED AS PARTICULARLY OBJECTIVE SINCE IT IS BASED ON SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE ERRORS OF DIRECT WITNESS TESTIMONY. THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY'S POSITION IS A DIFFICULT ONE SINCE HE HIMSELF DOES NOT POSSESS THE PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE TO EVALUATE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENE. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS VERY HARD TO FIND INDEPENDENT EXPERT WITNESSES WHO CAN STAND UP AGAINST THE TRAINED CRIMINOLOGISTS OF THE POLICE AGENCIES. THE ONLY POSSIBILITY FOR CONTROL LEFT TO THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY IS TO MAKE SURE THAT A PIECE OF EVIDENCE HAS NOT BEEN TAMPERED WITH PRIOR TO SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS. ALTHOUGH OFFICERS WHO HAVE WORKED DIRECTLY ON A PARTICULAR CASE CANNOT SERVE AS EXPERT WITNESSES IN THAT CASE, THE PROBLEM OF POSSIBLE BIAS STILL EXISTS SINCE MANY OF THE POLICE WITNESSES HAVE HAD INDIRECT CONTACT (E.G., IN AN ADVISORY FUNCTION) WITH THE CASE BEFORE. THROUGH THE USE OF DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE AND THE SUPERIORITY OF POLICE WITNESSES, THE DEFENSE'S RIGHTS ARE DIMINISHED SO THAT THE ACCUSED'S RIGHTS TO A FAIR TRIAL ARE JEOPARDIZED. POLICE WITNESSES MUST PROCEED WITH THE UTMOST RESTRAINT AND PRESERVE THE STRICTEST NEUTRALITY TO PREVENT THE NEW TREND FROM SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGING THE PRINCIPLES OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Criminal proceedings; Criminalistics; Defense counsel; Evidence; Evidence identification; Expert witnesses; Right to fair trial; Rights of the accused; Science and Technology
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63959

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