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Sunday, 13 August 2017

legal word of the day: CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

legal word of the day: CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE


Ø  indirect evidence
Ø  evidence  that does not come directly from an eyewitness or an original document
Ø  evidence that relies on an inference that a series of facts point to another fact

POL: dowód poszlakowy

Examples of circumstantial evidence:
Ø  the accused’s resistance to arrest
Ø  the presence of a motive or opportunity to commit the crime
Ø  the accused’s presence at the time and place of the crime
Ø  any denials, evasions or contradictions on the part of the accused
Ø  forensic evidence (it requires a jury to make a connection between the circumstance (the fingerprints) and the fact (someone being guilty or not guilty of a crime).

AN EYEWITNESS (TO) – świadek naoczny (someone who has seen something happen and who reports on it, especially a crime)
AN INFERENCE – wnioskowanie, domniemanie (a conclusion or opinion that is made based on the information that one has)
THE ACCUSED – oskarżony (a person who is charged, usually in a criminal proceeding, with having committed a wrongful act)
RESISTANCE – opór (fighting against something)
A DENIAL – zaprzeczenie (a statement that something is not true)
AN EVASION – unikanie odpowiedzi na pytania (avoiding answering questions)
A CONTRADICTION – sprzeczność (when facts presented are in conflict, inconsistent, etc.)
FORENSIC EVIDENCE– dowód na podstawie zeznania biegłego medycyny sądowej (evidence obtained by the use of science, for example DNA evidence)

(1) Books, movies, and television often perpetuate the belief that circumstantial evidence may not be used to convict a criminal of a crime. But this view is incorrect. In many cases, circumstantial evidence is the only evidence linking an accused to a crime; direct evidence may simply not exist. As a result, the jury may have only circumstantial evidence to consider in determining whether to convict or acquit a person charged with a crime. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "circumstantial evidence is intrinsically no different from testimonial [direct] evidence. Thus, the distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence has little practical effect in the presentation or admissibility of evidence in trials.

TO CONVICT – skazać (to find someone guilty)
TO ACQUIT – uniewinnić (to find someone not guilty)
TO CHARGE WITH – stawiać zarzut/ oskarżać (to formally accuse of a crime)
INTRINSICALLY – sam w sobie (essentially, in itself)
TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE – dowód z zeznań (statements that are made in court by witnesses)
ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE – dopuszczalność dowodów (the quality of being allowed to be used/ accepted as evidence during a legal proceeding)

(2) “For those of you who watch a lot of television, don’t expect fireworks. A real trial is very different, and not nearly as exciting. There are no surprise witnesses, no dramatic confessions, no fistfights between the lawyers. And, in this trial, there are no eyewitnesses to the murder. This means that all of the evidence from the State will be circumstantial. You’ll hear this word a lot, especially from Mr. Clifford Nance, the defense lawyer. He’ll make a big deal out of the fact that the State has no direct proof, that everything is circumstantial.”

“I’m not sure what it means,” someone said. “It means that the evidence is indirect, not direct.
For example, did you ride your bike to school?”
“And did you chain it to the rack by the flagpole?”

“So, when you leave school this afternoon, and you go to the rack, and your bike is gone and the chain has been cut, then you have indirect evidence that someone stole your bike. No one saw the thief, so there’s no direct evidence. And let’s say that tomorrow the police find your bike in a pawnshop on Raleigh Street, a place known to deal in stolen bikes, the owner gives the police a name, they investigate and find some dude with a history of stealing bikes. You can then make a strong case, through indirect evidence, that this guy is your thief. No direct evidence, but circumstantial.”

A CONFESSION – przyznanie się do winy (admitting that you have done something wrong or illegal)
AN EYEWITNESS TO – świadek naoczny (someone who has seen something happen and who reports on it, especially a crime)
A DEFENSE LAWYER – obrońca (the legal representative for the accused)
A PAWNSHOP – lombard (a business that offers secured loans to people, with items of personal property used as collateral)
A SECURED LOAN – tu: pożyczka pod zastaw (a loan that is guaranteed by the borrower giving valuable property as security)                                 
COLLATERAL – zabezpieczenie (something valuable that you promise to give someone if you cannot pay back money that you owe them)
TO MAKE A STRONG CASE – przedstawić mocne argumenty (to provide strong, convincing arguments)

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