FACTOID # 30: If Alaska were its own country, it would be the 26th largest in total area, slightly larger than Iran.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Witness" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Witness

This article is about witnesses in law courts. See witness (disambiguation) for other meanings and for various art and similar works by that and similar names. The word witness can mean: Witness in a legal court A person who views a legal execution at a prison. ...

Part of the common law series
Types of evidence
Testimony  · Documentary evidence
Physical evidence  · Digital evidence
Exculpatory evidence  · Scientific evidence
Demonstrative evidence
Relevance
Subsequent remedial measure
Character evidence  · Habit evidence
Authentication
Judicial notice  · Best evidence rule
Self-authenticating document
Ancient document
Witnesses
Competence  · Privilege
Direct examination  · Cross-examination
Impeachment  · Recorded recollection
Expert witness  · Dead man statute
Hearsay (and its exceptions)
Excited utterance  · Dying declaration
Party admission  · Ancient document
Declaration against interest
Present sense impression
Learned treatise
Other areas of the common law
Contract law  · Tort law  · Property law
Wills and Trusts  · Criminal law
view /edit this template

A witness is someone who has first-hand knowledge about a crime or dramatic event through their senses (e.g. seeing, hearing, smelling, touching) and can help certify important considerations to the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event first-hand is known as an eye-witness. Witnesses are often called before a court of law to testify in trials. Image File history File links Legal portal image File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (eg. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. ... Documentary evidence is any evidence introduced at a trial in the form of documents. ... Physical evidence is any evidence introduced in a trial in the form of a physical object, intended to prove a fact in issue based on its demonstrable physical characteristics. ... Digital evidence or electronic evidence is any probative information stored or transmitted in digital form that a party to a court case may use at trial. ... Exculpatory evidence is the evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial, which clears or tends to clear the defendant of guilt. ... The scientific method or process is fundamental to the scientific investigation and acquisition of new knowledge based upon physical evidence. ... Jump to: navigation, search Demonstrative evidence is evidence used to help the fact-finder gain context for the facts of the case. ... Relevance, in the common law of evidence, is the tendency of a given item of evidence to prove or disprove one of the legal elements of the case, or to have probative value to make one of the elements of the case likelier or not. ... A subsequent remedial measure is a term used in the law of evidence (law) in the United States to describe an improvement or repair made to a structure following an injury caused by the condition of that structure. ... Character evidence is a term used in the law of evidence in the United States to describe any testimony or document submitted for the purpose of proving that a person acted in a particular way on a particular occasion based on the character or disposition of that person. ... Habit evidence is a term used in the law of evidence in the United States to describe any evidence submitted for the purpose of proving that a person acted in a particular way on a particular occasion based on that persons tendancy to reflexively respond to a particular situation... Authentication, in the law of evidence, is the process by which documentary evidence and other physical evidence is proven to be genuine, and not a forgery. ... Judicial Notice is a rule of evidence that allows a fact to be introduced into evidence if the truth of that fact is so notorious or well known that it is cannot be refuted. ... The best evidence rule is a rule of evidence in the United States that requires that when writings are introduced as evidence in a trial, the original writing must be produced unless the party can account satisfactorily for its absence. ... A self authenticating document, under the law of evidence in the United States is any document that can be admitted into evidence at a trial without any proof being submitted to support the claim that the document is what it appears to be. ... An ancient document, in the law of evidence, refers to both a means of authentication for a piece of documentary evidence, and an exception to the hearsay rule. ... A competency (in the technical sense used in recent corporate human resources thought) is the cluster of traits (skills, abilities, habits, character traits, knowledge) a person must have in order to perform a job well. ... A privilege—etymologically private law or law relating to a specific individual—is an honour, or permissive activity granted by another person or a government. ... Direct examination (also called examination in chief) is the questioning of a witness by the party who called him or her, in a trial in a court of law. ... In law, cross-examination is the interrogation of a witness called by ones opponent. ... Witness impeachment, in the law of evidence, is the process of calling into question the credibility of an individual who is testifying in a trial. ... An expert witness is a witness, who by virtue of education, or profession, or experience, is believed to have special knowledge of his subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon his opinion. ... A dead man statute is a statute designed to prevent perjury in a civil case by prohibiting a witness who is an interested party from testifying about communications or transactions with a decedant, unless there is a waiver. ... Hearsay in its most general and oldest meaning is a term used in the law of evidence to describe an out of court statement offered to establish the facts asserted in that statement. ... An excited utterance, in the law of evidence, is a statement made by a person in response to a shocking event. ... A dying declaration is a term used in the law of evidence to signify that testimony that would normally be barred as hearsay may nonetheless be admitted as evidence in certain kinds of cases because it constituted the last words of a dying person. ... A party admission, in the law of evidence, is any statement made by a declarant who is a party to a lawsuit, which is offered as evidence against that party. ... An ancient document, in the law of evidence, refers to both a means of authentication for a piece of documentary evidence, and an exception to the hearsay rule. ... Hearsay in its most general and oldest meaning is a term used in the law of evidence to describe an out of court statement offered to establish the facts asserted in that statement. ... A present sense impression, in the law of evidence, is a statement made by a person that conveys their sense of the state of certain things at the time the statement was made. ... A learned treatise, in the law of evidence, is a text that is sufficiently authoritiative in its field to be admissible as evidence in a court in support of the contentions made therein. ... A contract is any legally-enforceable promise or set of promises made between parties. ... In the common law, a tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. ... Property law is the law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. ... In the law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such persons incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of law that punishes criminals for committing offences against the state. ... There are many kinds of events. ... Senses are the physiological methods of perception. ... A court is an official, public forum which a public power establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ...


A subpoena commands a person to appear. In many jurisdictions it is compulsory to comply, to take an oath, and tell the truth, under penalty of perjury. It is used to compel the testimony of witnesses in a trial. Usually it can be issued by a judge or by the lawyer representing the plaintiff or the defendant in a civil trial or by the prosecutor or the defense attorney in a criminal proceeding. A subpoena (pronounced suh-pee-nuh) is a writ commanding a person to appear under penalty (from Latin). ... In law, jurisdiction refers to the aspect of a any unique legal authority as being localized within boundaries. ... An oath (from Saxon eoth) is either a promise or a statement of fact calling upon something or someone that the oath maker considers sacred, usually a god, as a witness to the binding nature of the promise or the truth of the statement of fact. ... Perjury is lying or making verifiably false statements under oath in a court of law. ... In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. ... A trial is, in the most general sense, a test, usually a test to see whether something does or does not meet a given standard. ... A judge or justice is an official who presides over a court. ... For information on the type of fish called Lawyer, see the article on Burbot. ... A plaintiff, also known as a claimant, or a complainant is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. ... A defendant is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ...


Witness testimony is often presumed to be better than circumstantial evidence. Studies have shown that individual, separate witness testimony is often flawed and parts of it can be meaningless. This can occur because of a person's faulty observation and recollection, because of a person's bias, or because the witness is lying. If several witnesses witness a crime it is probative to look for similarities in their collective descriptions to substantiate the facts of an event, keeping in mind the contrasts of individual descriptions. One study involved an experiment in which subjects acted as jurors in a criminal case. Jurors heard a description of a robbery-murder, then a prosecution argument, then an argument for the defense. Some jurors heard only circumstantial evidence, others heard from a clerk who claimed to identify the defendant. In the first case, 18% percent found the defendant guilty, but in the second, 72% found the defendant guilty. (Loftus 1988) Lineups, where the eyewitness picks out a suspect from a group of people in the police station, are often grossly suggestive, and give the false impression that the witness remembered the suspect. In another study, students watched a staged crime. An hour later they looked through photos. A week later they were asked to pick the suspect out of lineups. 8% of the people in the lineups were mistakenly identified as criminals. 20% of the innocent people whose photographs were included were mistakenly identified. (University of Nebraska 1977)


Another study looked at sixty-five cases of "erroneous criminal convictions of innocent people." In 45% of the cases, eyewitness mistakes were responsible. (Borchard p. 367).


A witness who specializes in an area of study relevant to the crime is called an expert witness. Scientists and doctors are often called to give expert witness testimony. An expert witness is a witness, who by virtue of education, or profession, or experience, is believed to have special knowledge of his subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon his opinion. ...


Other types of witnesses

A certain number of witnesses are legally required to be present at weddings and certain other official events, and may have to sign a register as evidence of the event having taken place. Many other legal documents require witnesses to signatures; the witness does not need to read the document, but does need to see it being signed. The witness should not be party to the transaction, so in the case of wills, the witness should not be one of the beneficiaries. Nubian wedding with some international modern touches, near Aswan, Egypt A wedding is a civil or religious ceremony at which the beginning of a marriage is celebrated. ... John Hancocks signature on the United States Declaration of Independence A signature is a usually stylized version of someones name written on documents as a proof of identity and will, like a seal, but handwritten. ... In the law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ...


In another sense witnesses also help out the scientific community, such as persons who observe natural disasters and other phenomenom. Witnesses and their testimony in these events are extremely valuable, as scientists and metorologists rarely have the needed equipment to record these events from an up-close-and-personal perspective. In extreme cases, like the study of extraterrestrials and unidentified flying objects, witness testimony may be the only source of information; consequently, said events tend to be met with spececulation and doubt. Jump to: navigation, search A natural disaster is a catastrophe that occurs when a hazardous physical event (such as a volcanic eruption, earthquake, landslide, hurricane, or any of the other natural phenomena listed below) precipitates extensive damage to property, a large number of casualties, or both. ... Satellite image of Hurricane Hugo Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting. ... Extraterrestrial, as an adjective, refers to something that originates, occurs, or is located outside Earth or its atmosphere. ... Jump to: navigation, search A UFO -- fact or fiction? A UFO or unidentified flying object in the original, literal sense is any airborne object or optical phenomenon, detected visually or by radar, whose nature is not readily known. ...


Witnesses in pop culture

There have been a number of films and television dramas revolving around the idea of the witness, generally with the word in their title - Witness for the Prosecution, Witness (television series), Silent Witness, Mute Witness, and Witness (1985 movie). Witness for the Prosecution is a play by Agatha Christie, which has been twice made into a film. ... This article is about a TV series. ... Witness is a 1985 movie released by Paramount Pictures starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Witness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (669 words)
If several witnesses witness a crime it is probative to look for similarities in their collective descriptions to substantiate the facts of an event, keeping in mind the contrasts of individual descriptions.
A certain number of witnesses are legally required to be present at weddings and certain other official events, and may have to sign a register as evidence of the event having taken place.
Witnesses and their testimony in these events are extremely valuable, as scientists and meteorologists rarely have the needed equipment to record these events from an up-close-and-personal perspective.
Expert witness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (567 words)
An expert witness is a witness, who by virtue of education, or profession, or experience, is believed to have special knowledge of his subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon his opinion.
The use of expert witnesses is sometimes criticized in the United States because in civil trials, they are often used by both sides to advocate differing positions, and it is left up to a jury of laymen to decide which expert witness to believe.
The earliest known use of an expert witness in English law came in the 1782, when a court that was hearing litigation relating to the silting-up of Wells harbour in Norfolk accepted evidence from a leading civil engineer, John Smeaton.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m