Murder Case Study
Murder Case Study
Name at least five different types of evidence needed to prove the guilt of the defendant in the case selected.
This is a form of tangible evidence used within the crime scene (Norton, & Nagel, 2011). The most prominent piece of physical evidence within the Case Study is the .22 caliber automatic gun used for the shooting and its bullet. Once the body of the victim is taken in for autopsy, they find a bullet which upon examination is identified to belong to a .22 caliber gun. The bullet, therefore, fits into the class evidence type because it only belongs to a specific class of guns. The .22 caliber gun is also found with the suspect when he is stopped with Trooper Jackson. When found, the trooper also notices the odor of gun powder, which indicated the gun had been used recently. The wife of the suspect also identified that his husband owned the .22 caliber gun. All these physical evidence points towards the gun being the primary murder tool. Since the evidence points ownership to the suspect, he is prime to have committed the crime.
The second form of physical evidence present within the case is the old white Chevy. All the three witnesses interviewed about the crime scene stated that the criminal got into an old white Chevy and left, southbound. Although this car is found Westbound, it bears the same characteristics as the one described by the witnesses. The car is driven at high speed and within the same care, is a very nervous driver who owns a .22caliber gun with the odor of gun powder. This care, therefore, is an important piece of evidence as it is the gateway vehicle and would be important in tying the murder to the suspect.
Eyewitness accounts provide an important piece of direct information that is used or identified (Norton, & Nagel, 2011). The direct evidence within this crime is the three eyewitnesses of the crime within the crime. Officer uses the right procedure to interview the three different witnesses separately. One of the witnesses, a younger black woman, provides detailed information, but the other two provide information that the suspect was a young white man with long hair and no beard. All of the three, however, agree with the fact that the suspect left in an old white Chevy. This two-piece of evidence was instrumental in making even the arrest. Their counts are, therefore, important pieces of information that will aid in making a case for the Investigation. The witnesses can be used within the case to provide testimonial evidence that includes identifying if the suspect arrested is the one who participated in the crime.
Trooper Jackson is also an important source of Direct evidence. He is the one who notices the old white Chevy in the interstate highway westbound at a speed of 85mph. He stopped the car and observed that the driver looks nervous. He asks the suspect to exit the vehicle, and when he stands up, he notices a handgun sticking out from the driver’s seat. The suspect also fits the description of a young man, long hair without a bead. He then makes the arrest on the suspect for carrying a concealed weapon, after placing the suspect in the patrol car. He then comes back and observes the odor of gun powder from the handgun. He collects the gunpowder and treats it as evidence. He, therefore, provides important insight on the suspect, and this could be tied to the case in the form of testimonial evidence.
Forensic evidence is one obtained through scientific methods such as ballistics, and it helps to prove guilt or innocence. A forensic examination is used within the case to identify the type of gun used within the crime scene (Firearms Examination, (n.d.)). Once the bullet in the victim is removed during the autopsy, it is taken for firearm forensics, where it is believed to have come off from a .22 caliber gun. The forensic report from this Investigation would be important to prove that the gun owned by the suspect was used for the crime.
Several types of demonstrative evidence were collected within the case to indicate several segments of the Investigation. When Trooper Jackson identifies gun powder odor in the suspect’s car, he collects the gun powder to use as evidence. The presence of this simple would demonstrate the scenario of the gun having been used recently. After the arrest of the suspect by Trooper Jackson, the evidence technician takes some photographs of the scene; these would be important to indicate the car, gun, and scene of the arrest. Several other documents collected within this scene would be used as demonstrative evidence for the identity of the suspect. The Autopsy report would demonstrate the cause of death.
Inculpatrory evidence is one that creates a link between a suspect and a crime. The suspect has several forms of inculpatory evidence that points towards him being the criminal who committed the murder and theft. Since he owns and has recently used a .22 caliber gun and the bullet in the victim’s body was that of the same gun, it points towards him. He also matched the description of two witnesses, and he was also driving a car that matched the description of all the three witnesses. When he was stopped by trooper Jackson, he was extremely nervous, and it sold him out as a suspect. The wife of the suspect also points out that his husband owned a .2 caliber gun. Since all these evidence points towards this same person, it is inculpatory towards him. It would, therefore, important in creating a logical conclusion and convincing the jury about the suspect’s position within the crime.
Corroborative evidence is the type of evidence used to support the other types of evidence presented to the court. One of the corroborative evidence presents is from the suspect’s wife. After the suspect is found in possession of a .22 caliber gun, detective Fillmore goes to his house to gather more evidence. He questions the suspect’s wife, who releases information that he, in truth, owned such a gun. The police officer’s notes can also be accepted as corroborative evidence fro the Investigation. The records from the crime scenes, to the arrest by Trooper Jackson and the Investigation by detective Fillmore, had produced their notes. In this case, therefore, these can be used as corroborative evidence within the case. The witnesses provide matching information is some aspects. The two old witnesses provide a matching description of the suspect, and therefore their statements can be corroborative evidence of each other. All the witnesses also provide matching information on the gateway care; they, therefore, complement each other as corroborative evidence.
Hearsay evidence is the statement made by witnesses who were not present when the crime took place. These forms of evidence exist within this Investigation. A major one is by the wife of the suspect. When she is questioned by Officer Fillmore, she provides information that her husband has a .22 caliber gun, which was the same type as the one used within the crime. The co-owner of the convenience stores where the crime took place also provides hearsay evidence. The co-owner checked the cash bills in the cash drawer, realizing that they were all missing, and only coins were left, estimating the missing amount to be about $300. This evidence would prove that in addition to the murder, there was also a case of theft.
What issues may arise with the witnesses are given in the case selected?
The witnesses from the convenience store present a tough case because of their contradictions and vagueness. After interviewing the three witnesses separately, Officer Washington gets two somewhat different descriptions of the suspect they saw running out of the store after they hear the gunshot. Two witnesses who were in their sixties and black also gave a vague description of the suspect being a young white man with long hair and no beard. The other witness, a young black woman, gave a somewhat specific description, but it contradicts with the two witnesses. The description by the two older witnesses of a young white man with long hair and no beard was the one used to make the arrest. It, therefore, meant that the description of the younger witness was in contradiction to the other part of the Investigation.
This contradictory story from the on witness will, therefore, bring into doubt the accounts given by the others (Trends, 2020). It would also indicate that they have been untruthful at one point within their witnessing. It will, therefore, overall discredit her as a proper witness of the case. In most US jurisdictions, the two witness rule is used to prove the witness’s statements. In this case, since two witnesses provided matching information, the third witness would not disqualify their evidence. Since the arrest was also made of a person who did not match the description of the younger witness, she may also change her statements to contradict what she had earlier said. In this case, she will make her statement weak, leading the jury to discredit her statement within the whole case (Trends, 2020).
How may hearsay be an issue in prosecuting the case selected?
Hearsay evidence is produced from information gathered from another party that is not witnessing in court about the trial. In this case, there are several witnesses who provide direct evidence and others who make an outside statement to the officers of the case. One of them is the Co-owner of the business, which comes in after the crime is complete. He makes a count on the register and identifies missing bills, which he estimates would be about $300 lost. His account is important in the case of identifying the suspect as both a thief and a murderer. If, in this case, this witness is not presented to the case and is used as a hearsay witness, then this account of the story would not be reflected properly within the case (Hearsay Evidence, 2019). The problem with hearsay, in this case, would be termed as a present tense impression that the co-owner of the business made. The court would also prefer a first-hand account of the story, and this wouldn’t be admissible in the court (Wodjacz, 2020).
The suspect’s wife is also interrogated by Detective Fillmore. Fillmore, within the interrogation, discovers that the suspect had a .22 caliber gun. In this case, the wife would have to provide her personal statement to prove this in court unless she wants to identify informer privilege. If she is not presented and acts as a hearsay witness, it would be a problem. The court will see the statement by detective Fillmore as a recount of an interview that was subject to his interpretation. It would, therefore, deteriorate the quality of the evidence. The court would also want to hear the information first hand give them a chance to gauge credibility (Hearsay Evidence, 2019). In this case, also, her being hearsay would provide a problem.
The three witnesses of the crime are the direct form of evidence, and their accounts are important within the case. Therefore, they should be present in the court to provide their statements, especially in the description and identification of the criminal. Trooper Jackson, Detective Fillmore, and Officer Washington also provide expert evidence within the case and are required all present within the case. These are vital witnesses and cannot be used as hearsay.
Which Privilege may be raised in the case selected?
In this case, having the wife of the suspect witnessing in the trial may raise some privilege concerns. Since the wife of the suspect provided a clue of the husband ownership of a .22 caliber gun, I may cause problems between the couple. In this case, therefore, she may raise the Identify of informer privilege. This Privilege will grant her anonymity since the information she presents to the case is not significant in the defense and wouldn’t be influential in the guilt or innocence of the case. In this case, therefore, the interview she had with Detective Fillmore would be used as hearsay but wouldn’t reveal the source of information.
The suspect can also raise Privilege against self-incrimination. This Privilege is helped by a suspect in criminal prosecution and would protect him from any criminal liability (Lamberigts, 2016). Therefore, during the police investigation or when collecting the statements from the suspect, he can refuse to answer a question if he would think that the answer is self-incriminating. In both cases, the police and the court will have to respect the decision of the suspect and not probe further unless it appears that the evidence wouldn’t be incriminating. When this Privilege is raised, it protects the suspect from being forced to release information or provide a statement. Only physical evidence can be coerced of him.
What issues may be raised in a motion to suppress regarding evidence seized in the case selected?
Motion to suppress allows the suspect of the case to exclude some parts of the evidence room the trial if it was obtained illegally. In this case, therefore, an issue may arise in the suspect identification procedure that would suppress the evidence seized from the case. The identification process of the suspect in the car falls under the risk of misidentification (Cole, 2009). The description given by the two witnesses about the appearance of the suspect was vague. A young white man with long hair and no beard is a common look among the citizens. There is, therefore, it could represent a large population. There is, therefore, a high risk of misidentification. The suspect’s defense can present this motion; therefore, on this basis, and the prosecution should be prepared to answer the case according to the court’s considerations of the identification process. The court will therefore have to determine if the witnesses had the right amount of time to view and identify the suspect, their level of attention, the accuracy of their description, and their certainty of the description. Once these are analyzed, then the motion to suppress evidence may be used against the identification process by trooper Jackson.
What special issues should be addressed in preparing the case for trial?
Witnesses should be prepared before going for the trial as they present several issues. The witnesses in the case are the ones who provide direct evidence of the case, and it is important to get them ready for the trial. Since they are witnesses obtained from the crime scenes, it is important to get their contact information and get them ready to testify within the case (Trial Preparation: What Happens in the Month Before Trial (n.d). They are the strongest chance to account for crime, shootings, and theft. Therefore, each one should be present and, more so, two of them that provide matching information. The case has three witnesses who agree on some information, but one contradicts the description of the suspect. The law in the country is keen on the two witness rule; the two older witnesses have to be present in the case. Further, during the preparation of the witnesses, it is important to discuss with them what happened within the incident. It makes sure that if they have anything to add or deduct, it is properly captured as it would provide problems during cross-examinations (Preparing For A Trial, (n.d.).
The officers who carried out the Investigation and Trooper Jackson, who was directly involved in the case, would also be key witnesses. They will provide professional evidence, and therefore they should also be contacted and present for the case. The hearsay evidence from the wife and the co-owner of the business is also required to acquit the cline to the crime. The co-owner of the business should present at the case and, if not, his statement hearsay by Officer Washington, who was present when he spoke. It would, however, be more reliable if he is present at the case as hearsay evidence is not admissible in court but would guide the jury in their decision-making process (Wodjacz, 2020). The suspect’s wife will also provide hearsay evidence at the court through Detective Fillmore’s statements.
The preparation of the case should also look at other forms of evidence collected during the investigation. Physical evidence gathered through each stage of Investigation should be well prepared and present within the case either physically or through a report. The necessary reports, such as the autopsy, ballistics report, photographs of the crime scene should also accompany the physical evidence.
Cole, S. A. (2009). Suspect Identities: A history of fingerprinting and criminal identification. Harvard University Press.
Firearms Examination. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from http://www.forensicsciencesimplified.org/firearms/how.html
Hearsay Evidence. (2019, February 12). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/hearsay-evidence.html
Lamberigts, S. (2016). The Privilege against self-incrimination: A chameleon of criminal procedure. New Journal of European Criminal Law, 7(4), 418-438.
Norton, J., & Nagel, H. (2011, October 27). Evidence. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/evidence-law
Preparing For A Trial. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.civillawselfhelpcenter.org/self-help/lawsuits-for-money/trial-stage-your-day-in-court/248-preparing-for-a-trial
Trends. (2020, April 05). The Trouble with Eyewitness Identification Testimony in Criminal Cases. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.ncsc.org/trends/monthly-trends-articles/2017/the-trouble-with-eyewitness-identification-testimony-in-criminal-cases
Trial Preparation: What Happens in the Month Before Trial. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.stimmel-law.com/en/articles/trial-preparation-what-happens-month-trial
Wodjacz, M. (2020, September 04). Objection: Hearsay! What Is the Hearsay Rule, and What are the Exceptions to It? Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/objection-hearsay-what-is-the-hearsay-rule-and-what-are-the-exceptions-to-it.
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