Legal Studies 3080

Evidence Continued


Photographs, Interception Devices, and Video Surveillance

Photographs may be entered as evidence if they can be identified as being an accurate representation of the crime scene and are relevant to the case. Normally the photographer and developer are questioned as to the validity of any photograph. The Crown is not permitted to enter photographs as evidence to upset the jury.



Polygraph Evidence


One question the courts have been wrestling with for the past few years is whether or not to admit evidence obtained from the use of a polygraph (or lie detector). The Supreme Court has ruled that any results of a polygraph test would be considered hearsay evidence and so is not admissible in court. Since the accused does not have to take the witness stand, any results passed on by the polygraph operator would be merely repeating what the accused had said.


Confessions


Entering a confession as evidence in court raises a number of legal issues centering on how the confession was obtained and whether the accused understood his or her rights when the confession was given. If a judge believes that an accused did not understand his or her right to retain a lawyer or remain silent, or if the confession was forced by threats or a lengthy interrogation, the judge has the right to exclude it.


 

Teacher's Note
 The rules of evidence may seem complex, but they exist to make trials as fair and as free from opinion, hearsay, and irrelevant information as possible. Another area of trial rules and procedures that you should know about is the different defences the courts will allow defendants to put forth. It is these rules that you will be looking at in the next lesson.