Witnesses Through Trial


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Vulnerable witnesses

The court may admit evidence of a victim's reputation only if the victim has placed it in controversy. If a party intends to offer evidence under Rule b , the party must:.

Witnesses and Testimony at the Trial of John Brown | American Battlefield Trust

Before admitting evidence under this rule, the court must conduct an in camera hearing and give the victim and parties a right to attend and be heard. Unless the court orders otherwise, the motion, related materials, and the record of the hearing is confidential and excluded from public access in accordance with Administrative Rule 9. Statements of charges for medical, hospital or other health care expenses for diagnosis or treatment occasioned by an injury are admissible into evidence.

Such statements are prima facie evidence that the charges are reasonable. This rule does not apply if the disclosure itself is privileged. A claim of privilege is not defeated by a disclosure which was 1 compelled erroneously or 2 made without opportunity to claim the privilege. Except with respect to a claim of the privilege against self-incrimination in a civil case:. No inference may be drawn from the claim of a privilege.

The following provisions apply, in the circumstances set out, to disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection. When a disclosure is made in a court proceeding and waives the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection, the waiver extends to an undisclosed communication or information only if:. When made in a court proceeding, a disclosure does not operate as a waiver if:.

An agreement on the effect of disclosure in a proceeding is binding only on the parties to the agreement, unless it is incorporated into a court order. If a court incorporates into a court order an agreement between or among parties on the effect of disclosure in a proceeding, a disclosure that, pursuant to the order, does not constitute a waiver in connection with the proceeding in which the order is entered is also not a waiver in any other court proceeding. Every person is competent to be a witness except as otherwise provided in these rules or by statute. A witness may testify to a matter only if evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter.

A witness does not have personal knowledge as to a matter recalled or remembered, if the recall or remembrance occurs only during or after hypnosis.

Accessibility controls

Evidence to prove personal knowledge may consist of the witness's own testimony. This rule does not apply to a witness's expert testimony under Rule Before testifying, a witness must give an oath or affirmation to testify truthfully. It must be in a form designed to impress that duty on the witness's conscience. An interpreter must be qualified and must give an oath or affirmation to make a true translation. The presiding judge may not testify as a witness at the trial. A party need not object to preserve the issue. A juror may not testify as a witness before the other jurors at the trial. If a juror is called to testify, the court must give a party an opportunity to object outside the jury's presence.


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During an inquiry into the validity of a verdict or indictment, a juror may not testify about any statement made or incident that occurred during the jury's deliberations; the effect of anything on that juror's or another juror's vote; or any juror's mental processes concerning the verdict or indictment. The court may not receive a juror's affidavit or evidence of a juror's statement on these matters. A juror may testify about whether:. A any juror's drug or alcohol use;. B extraneous prejudicial information was improperly brought to the jury's attention;.

C an outside influence was improperly brought to bear on any juror; or. D a mistake was made in entering the verdict on the verdict form. Any party, including the party that called the witness, may attack the witness's credibility.

Victims and witnesses

A witness's credibility may be attacked or supported by testimony about the witness's reputation for having a character for truthfulness or untruthfulness, or by testimony in the form of an opinion about that character. But evidence of truthful character is admissible only after the witness's character for truthfulness has been attacked.

During the trial

Except for a criminal conviction under Rule , extrinsic evidence is not admissible to prove specific instances of a witness's conduct in order to attack or support the witness's character for truthfulness. But the court may, on cross-examination, allow them to be inquired into if they are probative of the character for truthfulness or untruthfulness of another witness whose character the witness being cross-examined has testified about. This subdivision b applies if more than ten 10 years have passed since the witness's conviction or release from confinement for it, whichever is later.

Evidence of the conviction is admissible only if:. Evidence of a conviction is not admissible if:. Evidence of a juvenile adjudication is admissible under this rule only if:. A conviction that satisfies this rule is admissible even if an appeal is pending. Evidence of the pendency is also admissible. Evidence of a witness's religious beliefs or opinions is not admissible to attack or support the witness's credibility. The court should exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of examining witnesses and presenting evidence so as to:.

Adult Victims and Witnesses

The court may allow inquiry into additional matters as if on direct examination. Leading questions should not be used on direct examination except as necessary to develop the witness's testimony.

Ordinarily, the court should allow leading questions:. Any portion withheld over objections must be preserved and made available to the appellate court in the event of an appeal. If a writing or object is not produced, made available for inspection, or delivered pursuant to order under this rule, the court must make any order justice requires, but in criminal cases if the prosecution elects not to comply, the order must be one striking the testimony or, if the court in its discretion determines that the interests of justice so require, declaring a mistrial.

Extrinsic evidence of a witness's prior inconsistent statement is admissible only if the witness is given an opportunity to explain or deny the statement and an adverse party is given an opportunity to examine the witness about it, or if justice so requires. This subdivision b does not apply to an opposing party's statement under Rule d 2.

The court may not call a witness except in extraordinary circumstances or as provided for court-appointed experts. All parties are entitled to cross-examine any witness called by the court. The court may question a witness regardless of who calls the witness. A juror may be permitted to propound questions to a witness by submitting them in writing to the judge. The judge will decide whether to submit the questions to the witness for answer. The parties may object to the questions at the time proposed or at the next available opportunity when the jury is not present.

Once the court has ruled upon the appropriateness of the written questions, it must then rule upon the objections, if any, of the parties prior to submission of the questions to the witness. At a party's request, the court must order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear other witnesses' testimony. Or the court may do so on its own. But this rule does not authorize excluding:.

Evidence that a witness has a bias, prejudice, or interest for or against any party may be used to attack the credibility of the witness. If a witness is not testifying as an expert, testimony in the form of an opinion is limited to one that is:. An expert may base an opinion on facts or data in the case that the expert has been made aware of or personally observed.

Experts may testify to opinions based on inadmissible evidence, provided that it is of the type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field. Testimony in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not objectionable just because it embraces an ultimate issue.

Witnesses may not testify to opinions concerning intent, guilt, or innocence in a criminal case; the truth or falsity of allegations; whether a witness has testified truthfully; or legal conclusions. Unless the court orders otherwise, an expert may state an opinion and give the reasons for it without first testifying to the underlying facts or data.

But the expert may be required to disclose those facts or data on cross examination. The declarant testifies and is subject to cross-examination about a prior statement, and the statement:. The statement is offered against an opposing party and:. The following are not excluded by the rule against hearsay, regardless of whether the declarant is available as a witness:. A statement describing or explaining an event, condition or transaction, made while or immediately after the declarant perceived it.

A statement relating to a startling event or condition, made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement that it caused. A statement that:. A record that:. If admitted, the record may be read into evidence but may be received as an exhibit only if offered by an adverse party. A record of an act, event, condition, opinion, or diagnosis if:. Evidence that a matter is not included in a record described in paragraph 6 if:.

A record of a birth, death, or marriage, if reported to a public office in accordance with a legal duty. Testimony or a certification under Rule that a diligent search failed to disclose a public record or statement if the testimony or certification is admitted to prove that:. A statement of birth, legitimacy, ancestry, marriage, divorce, death, relationship by blood or marriage, or similar facts of personal or family history, contained in a regularly kept record of a religious organization. A statement of fact contained in a certificate:. A statement of fact about personal or family history contained in a family record, such as a Bible, genealogy, chart, engraving on a ring, inscription on a portrait, or engraving on an urn, crypt, or burial marker.

Usually a request for a copy of a statement can be met by allowing the witness access and a sight of the statement rather than giving the witness a copy. In circumstances where the statement is particularly long or complex, supplying a statement may be unavoidable. A prosecutor can deny a witness a copy of his or her statement if there is reason to believe that the request is made for reasons other than a desire to give honest and accurate evidence. For example a witness who is related to, or friendly with, a defendant might want to alter their evidence to be more favourable to the defendant.

Prosecutors are referred to the Speaking to Witnesses at Court guidance which provides clarity to CPS advocates about what they are expected to do to support witnesses in giving their best evidence in court. It emphasises the need for advocates to ensure witnesses are properly assisted at court and that they are better prepared before giving their evidence.

This includes encouraging witnesses to refresh their memory from their witness statement. Witness statements may sometimes include material which, if referred to by the witness whilst giving evidence, may prejudice a fair trial. If this is the case before the witness gives evidence he or she must be told by the prosecutor which part s of the statement they should not mention and will not be asked questions about. When questioning the witness the prosecutor should lead the witness in such a way that avoids the need for the witness to refer to the prejudicial material. Where, despite these precautions, the witness discloses prejudicial or inadmissible material while giving evidence, and the defence apply to discharge the jury, the prosecution advocate must consider the impact the disclosure is likely to have had on the fairness of the trial, and respond accordingly.

If the prosecutor considers that a fair trial is no longer possible, they should support the application and, if the judge discharges the jury, seek a re trial.

Witnesses Through Trial Witnesses Through Trial
Witnesses Through Trial Witnesses Through Trial
Witnesses Through Trial Witnesses Through Trial
Witnesses Through Trial Witnesses Through Trial
Witnesses Through Trial Witnesses Through Trial
Witnesses Through Trial Witnesses Through Trial
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