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May 30, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Heuristics for the evaluation of legal evidence

1. Was the witness able to see, hear, or be aware of the things about which the witness testified?
2. How well was the witness able to recall and describe those things?
3. How long was the witness watching or listening?
4. Was the witness distracted in anyway?
5. Did the witness have a good memory?
6. How did the witness look and act while testifying?
7. Was the witness making an honest effort to tell the truth, or did the witness evade questions?
8. Did the witness have any interest in the outcome of the case?
9. Did the witness have any motive, bias, or prejudice that would influence the witness’s testimony?
10. How reasonable was the witness’ testimony when you consider all the evidence in the case?
11. Was the witness’ testimony contradicted by what the witness has said or done at another time, by the testimony of other witnesses, or by other evidence?
12. Has there been evidence regarding the witness’s intelligence, respectability, or reputation for truthfulness?
13. Has the witness’s testimony been influenced by any promises, threats, or suggestions?
14. Did the witness admit that any part of the witness’s testimony was not true?

* Taken from the court instructions by a judge for a jury trial. This does not constitute legal advice.
** #10 does it fit?

To determine the weight of the evidence–you should consider:
1. the education, qualifications, and experience of the expert witnesses;
2. the credibility of the expert witness;
3. the facts relied upon by the expert witness to support the opinion
4. the reasoning used by the expert witnesses to arrive at the opinion

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