Categories and Types of Evidence and their Use in the Courtroom

Essay by eswiftUniversity, Bachelor's December 2009

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IntroductionCriminal law is referred to as that branch of law concerned with crimes committedagainst the public authority. It is very different from civil law. An example is murder. It is veryeasy to put murder under civil law because it is a crime committed against another human beingbut the crime of murder is against the public interests. An example of civil crime is when aperson does not honor a contract.

Criminal law can be substantial or procedural. Substantial criminal law is concerned withvarious crimes covered with the criminal code but procedural criminal law deals with theprosecution of the crimes mentioned under substantial criminal law. The sentencingrecommendations are also stipulated for various criminal crimes under procedural law.

Prosecution under criminal codes can only be done when there is proof beyond a reasonableshadow of doubt that the person accused committed the said crime.

Felonies, misdemeanors and treason are the three broad types of crimes that show incourt.

Treason is seen as a crime that threatens the security of a nation and the well being of anation and this may explain why criminals charged with treason have such stiff and severepenalties. Under criminal law, misdemeanors are minor crimes but felonies are rather seriouscrimes and they are normally associated with mandatory sentences.

How judges, parties and juries give out then closely inspect the different forms of proof ata court trial is all governed by the law of evidence. In a way, evidence forms an extension ofcriminal procedure. It also forms an extension of civil law. In the Unites States, the FederalRules of Evidence (FRE) are the rules the federal courts follow. Most of the laws of evidence areencompassed in the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Federal Rules of Evidence has played amajor role in the development of evidence law and most of this is...