Author Topic: Credibility of Witnesses  (Read 2574 times)

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Offline TalkLeft

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Credibility of Witnesses
« on: July 04, 2013, 08:51:20 PM »

It is up to you to decide what evidence is reliable. You should use your common sense in deciding which is the best evidence, and which evidence should not be relied upon in considering your verdict. You may find some of the evidence not reliable, or less reliable than other evidence.

You should consider how the witnesses acted, as well as what they said. Some things you should consider are:

1. Did the witness seem to have an opportunity to see and know the things about which the witness testified?
2. Did the witness seem to have an accurate memory?
3. Was the witness honest and straightforward in answering the attorneys' questions?
4. Did the witness have some interest in how the case should be decided?
5. Does the witness's testimony agree with the other testimony and other evidence in the case?

Give as applicable.

6. Has the witness been offered or received any money, preferred treatment, or other benefit in order to get the witness to testify?
7. Had any pressure or threat been used against the witness that affected the truth of the witness's testimony?
8. Did the witness at some other time make a statement that is inconsistent with the testimony [he] [she] gave in court?
9. Has the witness been convicted of a [felony] [misdemeanor involving [dishonesty] [false statement]]?
10. Does the witness have a general reputation for [dishonesty] [truthfulness]?

It is entirely proper for a lawyer to talk to a witness about what testimony the witness would give if called to the courtroom. The witness should not be discredited by talking to a lawyer about [his] [her] testimony.

You may rely upon your own conclusion about the witness. A juror may believe or disbelieve all or any part of the evidence or the testimony of any witness.

(The court also may wish to give as part of this instruction the instructions covered under 3.9(a) and (b), concerning expert witnesses and accomplices. If so, the Committee recommends that they be given as additional numbered paragraphs, which would precede the last two unnumbered paragraphs of this instruction.)


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