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All forensic evidence supplied on testimony by an expert witness is usually treated as circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence supports the truth of the assertion directly and does not rely on inference from a set of facts to matter asserted. It is circumstantial, not direct evidence.

Can circumstantial evidence convict Aaron Hernandez? - CNN

The physical evidence needs additional inferential facts to establish it as viable evidence. You recover a bullet. A tool and marks expert identifies it with the suspects gun, but you need to put the gun in the suspects hand, put the suspect at the crime scene and prove or infer that the suspect pulled the trigger.

The bullet does not stand on its own, it is circumstantial. The point is it requires the totality of circumstances to construct an inference, not the obviousness of the conclusion to establish circumstantial evidence. So, the majority of those convicted have been by a majority if not entirely by circumstantial evidence.

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Guilt or innocence is established by circumstantial evidence through reasoning. See also supra para.


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A circumstantial case consists of evidence of a number of different circumstances which, taken in combination, point to the guilt of the accused person because they would usually exist in combination only because the accused did what is alleged against him — here that he participated in the second beating of Gotovac. It is settled jurisprudence that the conclusion of guilt can be inferred from circumstantial evidence only if it is the only reasonable conclusion available on the evidence. Whether a Trial Chamber infers the existence of a particular fact upon which the guilt of the accused depends from direct or circumstantial evidence, it must reach such a conclusion beyond reasonable doubt.

If there is another conclusion which is also reasonably open from that evidence, and which is consistent with the non-existence of that fact, the conclusion of guilt beyond reasonable doubt cannot be drawn.

When considering alleged errors of fact on appeal from the Defence, the Appeals Chamber will determine whether no reasonable trier of fact could have reached the verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Pursuant to the jurisprudence of the Tribunal, the task of hearing, assessing and weighing the evidence presented at trial is left primarily to the Trial Chamber. Thus, the Appeals Chamber must give a margin of deference to a finding of fact reached by a Trial Chamber. Similarly, the type of evidence, direct or circumstantial, is irrelevant to the standard of proof at trial, where the accused may only be found guilty of a crime if the Prosecution has proved each element of that crime and the relevant mode of liability beyond a reasonable doubt.


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About the Mechanism Cases. Menu Case Law Database. Basic search Advanced search Notions list. Help Browse the list of legal notion titles using the A-Z index. Submit Feedback Please help us improve the service. You can send ideas to marshague at un dot org Thank you very much for your help. See also Trial Judgement, para. Standard of proof Proof by inference Circumstantial evidence Standard of appellate review. Appeal Judgement - Hernandez is led into a Boston courtroom to be arraigned in May Evidence collected in Lloyd's death investigation led to two additional murder charges against Hernandez in a separate case in Boston.

In that case, Hernandez is accused of shooting Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, allegedly over a spilled drink at a nightclub. The double shooting took place in July , almost a year before Lloyd was killed. Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty, will be tried in that case after the Lloyd trial. Hernandez is brought into the Attleboro, Massachusetts, District Court for his arraignment on June 26, He was charged with first-degree murder in Lloyd's death. Hernandez celebrates his Super Bowl touchdown.

Definition of Circumstantial Evidence

Hernandez scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on January 1, Hernandez played three seasons with the Patriots, catching 18 touchdowns. Tattoos on Hernandez's arm are visible during a pregame warmup on December 4, Hernandez looks up after being tackled during a game in Philadelphia on November 27, Hernandez carries the ball as the Patriots play the Cincinnati Bengals in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on September 10, Hernandez's Gators went on to win the national title. Story highlights Paul Callan: Prosecutors can often make compelling cases without direct evidence Surveillance video is key to the prosecution case against Aaron Hernandez, Callan says.

In truth, though, circumstantial evidence can sometimes be compelling and highly reliable. When combined with a touch of supporting direct evidence it can be the strongest of all cases as it does not rely on frequently unreliable eyewitnesses.

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As prosecutors often say in their summations, circumstantial evidence has no motive to lie and no problem with its eyesight. In a Massachusetts' courtroom, the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the death of Odin Lloyd may prove to be a textbook study of circumstantial evidence and its struggle to overcome reasonable doubt and celebrity status.

Circumstantial evidence key in Nashville murder case

Prosecutors are meticulously building a case using surveillance video and other evidence to link Hernandez to the killing. Surveillance video already publicly disclosed depicts a pre-homicide meeting between Hernandez and his friends Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, also charged in the case, at the Hernandez home in North Attleboro. Hernandez is seen walking around with a gun and then departing with his two pals in what appears to be a Nissan Altima.

Later video shows Hernandez, Ortiz and Wallace making a fuel stop where driver Hernandez purchases what will later prove to be a very important pack of bubble gum. Prosecutors assert that a trail of text messages and more surveillance video, this time from a vantage point across the street from Lloyd's apartment, show Lloyd entering the vehicle in response to a Hernandez invite.