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Criminal Evidence Essay Sample

Identification provides user identity to the security system. This identity is characteristically made available in the form of a user ID. Authentication is the procedure of confirming user identity. The reality that the user asserts to be represented by a precise conceptual object does not essential mean that it is true. To make certain that an authentic user can be mapped to an explicit abstract user object in the system, and consequently be granted user rights and permissions explicit to the abstract user object; the user must provide evidence to show his identity (Hails, 2008). The following are five ways in which authentication can be accomplished.

Credentials

Еhere are different ways of ascertaining a credential. However there are three commonly used as follows

  1. passwords
  2. Individual’s Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  3. certificates

The other ways of authentication include the follows

  1. the testimony of an expert familiar with physical objects of the variety offered into evidence
  2. the testimony of a layperson familiar with the particular object

In this section, I will list and explain six ways in which photographic, recorded, and computer generated evidence can be used in a trial. First, it is good to note that, the art of photography is changing radically with time. With computer technology, photographs can be captured and stored without the use of films. Photographs have now been accepted as evidence in criminal trials. For a photograph to be used as evidence, it has to be relevant and authenticated (Hails, 2008). This will be determined at the discretion of the judge. Pictures taken using digital photography substantially improve the jury’s understanding of the facts presented in court, and thus can be used in a court of law in the following ways:

  1. photography of a plentiful taken immediately after an accident can be of great help to a jury even after the plentiful has healed completely
  2. Photographs can give a clearer picture of an uncertain description that the witness produces.
  3. medical models and X rays can also be used by a jury in physical injury cases to understand the extent and nature of the crime
  4. financial reports in the form of charts and graphs can act as a more vivid evidence of the financial losses incurred by a company as a result of a crime
  5. other articles can be used together with actual evidence to help the jury get a deeper understanding of the testimony
  6. charts and graphs can also be used by the jury to understand the decline in life expectancy rates among other things

Requirements of Miranda

Miranda requires a confession to be made voluntary rather than mandatory, and should be within the context of the due process clause. In 1966, the case between Miranda and Arizona was decided by the Supreme Court. This decision marked the most controversial decision; the Supreme Court had ever been involved in. The court adopted a new approach in order to determine the admissibility of the suspects. Miranda required that, all statement derived from custodial interrogation be presumed unintentional unless the suspect was provided with four specific warnings by the police (Hails, 2008). These warnings are the right of the suspect to observe silence, that the statement made by the suspect can be used against him in court, that the suspect will be provided with an attorney if he fails to get one, and that the attorney should be present when the suspect is being questioned. However, these warnings do not give the interrogator the right to coerce the suspect.  A statement should be both prefaced by Miranda warnings and voluntary for it to be acceptable under Miranda. If the police decline to offer the Miranda warnings to the suspect in their custody, they can still interrogate him but such statement can not be used against the suspect in a criminal trial.

  1.  A waiver to the Miranda rights can be granted if the suspect in a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary manner to suspects who understands what they are doing. In such cases waiver forms must be signed and produced in a court of law.
  2. The second exception to the Miranda requirement refers to public safety that allows certain statement (given without Miranda warnings) to be used in criminal trial against the suspect if they were given in circumstances surrounded with danger of public safety for example, a rape suspect in possession of a forearm.
  3. The last exception occurs in cases where incriminating statements are given without Miranda warning but not in response to police questioning.

Exclusionary rule

This is a legal principle found in the constitution of the United States. It holds that, evidence solicited from the violation of a defender’s legal rights may sometime be acceptable in a court of law. This is an exception to the prophylactic rule which was formulated for the purpose of protecting the constitutional rights. However, it sometimes follows the constitutional rule for instance, the 5th amendment that prohibits a suspect from acting as a witness against himself. The exclusionary rule is grounded in the 4th constitutional amendment for the purpose of protecting citizens from illegal searches and convulsions. It also protects citizens from the violation of the right to counsel (Glenn, 2007).

The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine

The fruit of the poisonous tree refers to a legal terminology used in the United States which simply means, obtaining evidence illegally. The tree is defined as the source of evidence and if it is infected, then the fruits that came from it will also be infected. Such evidence is not acceptable in a court of law. This doctrine is an extensive to the exclusionary rule which prevents evidence obtained in the violation of the 4th amendment to be used in court. The purpose of the poisonous tree doctrine is to prevent police from obtaining criminal evidence illegally (Glenn, 2007).

The independent source doctrine is an exception to the exclusionary rule that was created in 1984. This doctrine allows evidence to be collected in different ways; illegal and legal. For instance, evidence collected without a warrant from the financial records someone alleged to have embezzled funds can be used in a court of law.

Search and seizure

A warrant requirement is an authorization written and signed by the court to the law-enforcement officers permitting them to conduct arrests, searches, and seizures. Arrests, searches, and seizures conduct without the authorization may be termed as invalid. However, there are certain exceptions to the warrant requirement (Glenn, 2007). They include:

  1. Plain view exception- no warrant is needed if  police are legally present in the area where evidence is to be viewed
  2. Consent- no warrant is needed if the officer believes that the person giving consent has the authority to do so.
  3. Stop and frisk- police do not require a warrant to stop a suspect if they have reasonable suspicion to belief that a criminal act was committed.
  4. Search episode to lawful arrest- if a person has been arrested lawfully, then a search can be conducted without a warrant.
  5. Emergencies- if evidence is assumed to get destroyed before a warrant is issued, then immediate search should be carried out without waiting for a warrant.
  6. Automobile exception- since vehicle are highly mobile, a warrant is not required to conduct a search

Four circumstances recognized as “exigent” are:

  1. Mobility of the evidence- if the since of the crime is mobile or if evidence is likely to get destroyed, then a warrant is not required
  2. Hot pursuit- there are some crimes that calls for quick response and a warrant is not required to conduct searches and seizures
  3. A momentous offence- this applies to crimes of violence
  4. Fleeing suspect- a warrant is not required if the suspect is likely to flee.