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Criminal Evidence

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Define competent evidence and incompetent evidence and give two examples of each.

Competent evidence is evidence that tends to establish facts in issues and does not rest on mere conjecture or surmise. An example of competent evidence is tests and experiments provided they meet the tests of relevancy and are not constitutionally prohibited. On the other hand incompetent evidence is defined as evidence that is inadmissible for any reason. An example of incompetent evidence is the wrongful obtained evidence (Ingram, 248-249).

In addition to relevancy, what additional tests must documentary evidence pass in order to be considered competent?

The methods of storing information such as video tapes and documents are classified as documentary evidence. Apart from rules of relevancy, te documentary evidence must pass through various tests to become competent. These additional tests are opinion evidence test and hearsay test (Ingram, 250).

What are the elements of competency for adults to qualify as witnesses?

The competency of a witness is assessed through the determination of three elements which are personal knowledge, capability of communicating and understanding the duty to tell the truth. Having personal knowledge about the matter ensures reliability in the process of fact-finding. Witnesses must be capable of understanding the duty to tell the truth or take an oath. Finally, witnesses must effectively pass or receive information (Ingram, 283).

What is meant by the term direct examination of witnesses? Which party conducts the direct examination?

Direct examinattion is the process of eliciting facts from witnesses called by a party. It is the first examination of a witness on matters that are not within the scope of previous examinations of the witness. For instance, a party may seek to elicit testimony from witnesses establishing certain facts. Direct examination is normally conducted by judges (Ingram, 302).

Distinguish between the concepts of present memory revived and past recollection recorded

These two concepts have a difference in theory and tests of admissibility.  In present memory revived, the witness testifies from present memory, which is the evidence and not the reference used to revive memory. In past recollection recorded involves where the witness recorded an event in writing when it was fresh in the memory and the writing is used as the evidence without any oral testimony (Ingram, 308).

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