The Role of Evidence in the Criminal Justice System

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The Role of Evidence in the Criminal Justice System I. Introduction Evidence is the key element in determining the guilt or innocence of those accused of the crimes against society in a criminal court of law. But in order to understand magnitude and necessity of evidence as a it relates to the criminal justice system one must know what are the five (5) key issues and or points regarding evidence. The first is what truly is evidence is it written documentation, is it expert testimony, is it hearsay (oral uncorroborated statements) in a matter of fact way it can be all just mentioned, none just mentioned, or some just mentioned and others as well. After understanding what "truly" constitutes evidence one must realize how and were evidence can be gathered to have the correct overall view of what is and is not evidence. Third all things that may be evidence may be unusable either in defense or prosecution of the defendant. So it becomes essential to understand the ground rules set forth both on the Federal and State level with regards to what evidence is actually permissible in a court of law. Next, we need to analyze to major issues that have become prevalent in our time regarding evidence in the adversary system and the effect recent rulings have had in dictating what is evidence and more importantly evidence permissible in a court of law. Finally, what effect does the process of obtaining, collecting, and using evidence mean for our adversary model used in the criminal justice system? II. What is evidence? Evidence as stated by Neubauer, is "any kind of proof offered to establish the existence or nonexistence of a fact in dispute, for example, testimony, writings, other material objects, demonstrations" (536).... ... middle of paper ... ...ho made the illegal search, a criminal prosecution against the officers, or disciplinary action against officers by the employing agency. The ruling handed down by the Supreme Court provided a strict interpretation of the fourth amendment, ": "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." (www.geocities.com/Athens/4064/law.htm). IV. What are the major issues facing the adversary system (prosecution v. defense) currently? V. With our ever evolving society what effect does the process of obtaining and using evidence in criminal proceedings have on our criminal justice system?

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