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View Diary: Zimmerman waives Stand Your Ground hearing in Trayvon Martin case (201 comments)

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  •  No. Only issues that are relevant. Everyone (1+ / 0-)
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    lies.  If every lie anyone ever told could be used to impeach someone's testimony, no trial could ever be completed.

    First, the lie generally has to be under oath.

    Second, the lie under oath generally has to be about a relevant issue in the case.

    There are exceptions, but few.

    The judge will decide whether this particular lie is relevant enough and/or indication enough of a propensity to lie under oath to take attention away from the relevant issues and spend the trial's time on it.  My guess is it won't be.  But it'll be up to the judge to decide.

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 02:05:32 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  And her credibility is relevant, ... (1+ / 0-)
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      wilderness voice

      all by itself, as to whatever "facts" she may be called to testify to.

      From Criminal Law: Witnesses FAQs:

      In a jury trial, jurors decide the credibility of witnesses, with guidance from the judge in the form of "instructions" provided after all the evidence has been received. The judge instructs the jurors that they're the sole and exclusive judges of the credibility of each witness who testified. If they believe a witness testified falsely, they may decide to believe all of that witness's testimony, only a portion of it, or none at all.

      The judge also gives guidance on how jurors should determine the witness's credibility. Jurors are told to carefully judge all of the testimony given, and the circumstances under which each witness has testified. They're advised to consider:

          Each witness' intelligence, motive to testify, state of mind, and appearance and manner while on the witness stand
          The witness's ability to observe what he or she was testifying about
          Whether the witness appears to have an accurate memory or recollection of these matters
          Any relation a witness may have to either side of a case
          The manner in which a witness might be affected by a decision one way or another
          The extent to which, if at all, each witness is either support or contradicted by other evidence in the case

      Each juror should make her own judgment or assessment concerning the believability of a witness and how important the witness's testimony is to the case.

      If the witness is an informant - someone who provides evidence against someone else for money, or to escape punishment for his or her own misdeeds or crimes, or for other personal reason or advantage - the jurors are instructed to examine and weigh their testimony with greater care than the testimony of a witness who doesn't have such motivations.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:13:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •   issues that bear upon credibility of a witness (0+ / 0-)

      are always relevant

      There are five major forms of impeachment: two are specific, and three are nonspecific. The two specific forms are impeachment by prior inconsistent statements (also known as self-contradiction) and impeachment by another witness. The three non-specific forms are impeachment through bias or motive or interest, impeachment by highlighting testimonial defects, and impeachment by general credibility or lack of truthfulness. Specific impeachment is an attack on the accuracy of the specific testimony (i.e., the witness may normally be a truthteller, but she is wrong about X), while non-specific impeachment is an attack on the witness generally (the witness is a liar, therefore she is wrong about X). When a witness's credibility has been attacked by any one of the five forms of impeachment, the sponsoring party may rehabilitate the witness only in direct response to the attack. Generally, a witness's character for truthfulness may be rehabilitated with "good character" witnesses only when the witness's general character for truthfulness has been attacked. Michael v State (October 3, 2007, PD-1611-05)

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