According to Latham (1998), a witness is an individual that provides an indication while under oath in a trial or an affidavit in the lawsuit. An expert, according to research, is a person with sufficient knowledge or skills of a certain field that is beyond what the layman may have. Therefore, an expert witness is a person who ensures that this knowledge and skills are available to the court. This is to provide help in understanding the issues of a case, and hence finding a solution to the issues.
An expert witness helps in providing advices to clients, and helps the court by preparing evidence for the purpose of proceedings in the court. This implies that an expert witness plays the main role in the court by being true to the facts, though in technical reasoning, honest in opinion, and complete in coverage of significant issues. In addition, an expert witness has a duty of exercising due care with regard to the investigations carried out, and offer sound opinion concerning the evidence.
A layman witness plays the testifying role in the form of an opinion or inference in case the testimony is mainly focusing on the views of the witness. Moreover, a layman witness plays the role of clearing an understanding of the testimony or the determination of a fact in an issue. On the other hand, a law enforcement witness has the role of stating the rights of the victim according to the Constitution, helps in outlining duties of the victims, and gives relevant information on eligibility and application for compensation benefits of the victim.
Importance of Witnesses with Regard to the Case of the Prosecutions during a Trial
A witness for the case prosecution case during a trial is noteworthy because he or she ensures that they provide adequate testimony (Emanuel, 2009). Such a testimony helps to affirm the actions of the defendant that makes the person be put under trial. Therefore, such information from the witness may help to propel the case favoring the argument of the prosecution. In addition, a witness for prosecution helps in testifying, which is significant to the overall case of prosecution.
Importance of Witnesses with Regard to the Case of Defense during a Defense
The main role of the witness with regard to the case of defense during a defense includes discrediting the testimony of the other witnesses. Therefore, a witness of defense may show that the previous witness did not observe what he or she said she did because she or he was somewhere else at the time of the incidence.
The role of witnesses used for the prosecution differs from that used for the defense in that the witness for prosecution has the intention of offering or testifying against the assumed actions of the victim. On the other hand, the witnesses used for defense aims at discrediting any significant witness for the prosecution in order to eliminate case of the testimony provided by such a witness for the prosecution.
Qualifications for a Witness to Be Considered an Expert
Research shows that there are a considerable number of qualifications for a witness to be considered an expert; these include being independent, unbiased, and objective at all time. The witness should have adequate knowledge and skills for the subject matter in dispute, analytical reasoning abilities needed to meet the assignment (Neubauer, 2008). In addition, the person needs to have the ability of providing the findings and opinions clearly in communication terms. In order for a witness, to be considered an expert, he/she is to have a mind that is flexible so that he/she can be able to modify opinions with respect of fresh evidence.
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