Defending A Murder Trial Discrediting Evidence

The court system can be very tricky. It isn't always about who is actually innocent or guilty. It's about which lawyer has the most convincing argument to sway to jury. When it comes to a defense, doubt has to be put in the juror's minds. If they have the slightest reasonable doubt, they aren't allowed to convict someone of murder.

To give the jury doubt, the main thing that the defense needs to do is discredit the evidence against their client:

Types of Evidence

Three main types of evidence are included in a jury trial are:

  1. Witness testimony
  2. Physical evidence
  3. Demonstrative evidence

Since evidence is the key to convicting someone of murder, it has to be discredited so it can't be used against the defendant.

Witness Testimony

Witness testimony can make or break a case. However, the witness has to be credible. For example, if the witness has a drug problem, proven to lie in the past, or anything else that shows they may be lying, it can be used against them.

If the witness claimed to see something, there are different things the defense can do to discredit them. Do they need prescription glasses and were wearing them that day? Do they have a motive to tell a lie about what they saw? Do they have any connections to people involved in the prosecution?

Several will ask a witness their story before the witness takes the stand. Every time the story is told, a record is kept verbatim. It's important to go through every written statement to find discrepancies in the story. If it has changed at all, it can completely discredit the story. The smallest detail can discredit a witness and make the jury realize they may not be able to believe what they have to say.

Physical Evidence

One way that evidence can be discredited is by investigating how it was handled after discovery. The United States has very particular procedures in place when it comes to handling evidence. Whether it is blood, a murder weapon, or something else, it has to be handled properly or it may be tainted and unusable.

Demonstrative Evidence

Demonstrative evidence is a chart, graph, video, or something else showing steps showing theories or examples of how the crime occurred. Usually lawyers will have experts help with these graphs to get as much credibility as possible.

To discredit demonstrative evidence, lawyers want to discredit the facts in the demonstration. For example, if it demonstrates a witness' testimony, discrediting the witness will discredit the evidence. If it uses expert knowledge to create a clearer picture, find more experts that agree the way the prosecution is demonstrating events happened aren't necessarily true. If the defense has more experts than the prosecution on their side, it puts too much doubt in the jury's mind to use it as evidence.

The United States cannot send a person to prison for murder if there is doubt that they committed the crime. Removing evidence from the prosecution by discrediting it is the best way to keep a defendant out of prison. For more help, or if you have other questions, contact a company such as Davidson Law Center Inc.