Jury Duty: Circumstantial Evidence versus Direct Evidence (Part 1)
From the Law Offices of Reginald T. Kittolla
Good morning! Reggie here for Thursday’s Talk to the Tail column.
Lots of you already know that my mom has been on jury duty this month. So, I thought it would be fun to do a little educational post today.
Who out there in Lula Bay Land knows the difference between “circumstantial evidence” and “direct evidence?” If you’re chosen for jury service, more than likely you’re almost certain to hear these terms – especially if you are chosen to serve as a juror on a criminal trial.
Here’s a great tale that depicts the types of evidence. Read along and see which type of evidence you believe is displayed.
Mom travels with the family dog, Bear, to the Pick of the Litter Thrift Store in Newport to drop off some donations. She’s brought along a yummy piece of pizza wrapped up that she places on the dashboard to eat after she drops off her things.
She arrives at the donation site, greets the attendant and gathers her items from the trunk of the car. Only Mom and the attendant are present – no one else is in the area. When Mom returns to the car, the pizza is no longer on the dashboard. She finds the wrapper and the plate on her car seat.
Mom is angry and tells Bear he shouldn’t have taken her pizza. Bear puts his paws up with a strong look of denial on his face. As in, “It wasn’t me, Mom.” Mom doesn’t believe him.
Circumstantial evidence: Mom believes Bear took her pizza because only the attendant and herself are present. There was no one else around who had access to the car or pizza. She is convinced that Bear ate her pizza.
Now, here is an example of direct evidence. Let’s say Mom has gathered her items in her arms and is handing them to the attendant. She turns towards the car and sees Bear move forward into her car seat, grab the pizza with his teeth and eat it in two bites. She directly witnessed him eating the pizza.
Another theory: let’s say we’re still using circumstantial evidence as our theory. Mom hasn’t directly seen Bear eat the pizza. What possible defenses could be utilized to prove Bear’s innocence?
Follow along here to see the legal defense my legal team and myself used in Bear’s case – and find out if he was found guilty by a jury of his peers.
To read the rest of the story, click here: Jury Duty: Evidence (Part 2)