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direct evidence n.

. real, tangible or clear evidence of a fact, happening or thing that requires no thinking or consideration to prove its existence, as compared to circumstantial evidence. Evidence that stands on its own to prove an alleged fact, such as testimony of a witness who says she saw a defendant pointing a gun at a victim during a robbery. Direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did.

circumstantial evidence
n. evidence in a trial which is not directly from an eyewitness or participant and requires some reasoning to prove a fact. There is a public perception that such evidence is weak ("all they have is circumstantial evidence"), but the probable conclusion from the circumstances may be so strong that there can be little doubt as to a vital fact ("beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal case, and "a preponderance of the evidence" in a civil case). Particularly in criminal cases, "eyewitness" ("I saw Frankie shoot Johnny") type evidence is often lacking and may be unreliable, so circumstantial evidence becomes essential. Prior threats to the victim, fingerprints found at the scene of the crime, ownership of the murder weapon, and the accused being seen in the neighborhood, certainly point to the suspect as being the killer, but each bit of evidence is circumstantial. evidence in a case which can be used to draw inferences about a series of events. It is also known as indirect evidence; the opposite is direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence is an important part of any criminal trial, and both sides in a trial will generally try to find circumstantial evidence to support themselves. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to obtain a conviction with the use of circumstantial evidence, if it is backed up by corroborating evidence and other factual information.

Prima facie evidence is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face" or "at first appearance", from the feminine form of primus ("first") and facies ("face"), both in the ablative case. It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident from the facts. In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence that unless rebutted would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.

For example, in a trial under criminal law the prosecution has the burden of presenting prima facie evidence of each element of the crime charged against the defendant. In a murder case, this would include evidence that the victim was in fact dead, that the defendant's act caused the death, and evidence that the defendant acted with malice aforethought. If no party introduces new evidence the case stands or falls just by the prima facie evidence or lack thereof. cumulative evidence. Supporting the same point as earlier evidence testimony repetitive of testimony given earlier. evidence that confirms or adds to previous evidence. additional evidence reinforcing testimony previously given Corroborating evidence (in "corroboration") is evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some initial evidence, therefore confirming the proposition. For example, W, a witness, testifies that she saw X drive his automobile into a green car. Meanwhile Y, another witness, testifies that when he examined X's car, later that day, he noticed green paint on its fender. Or there can be corroborating evidence related to a certain source, such as what makes an author think a certain way due to the evidence that was supplied by witnesses or objects evidence which strengthens, adds to, or confirms already existing evidence. additional evidence or evidence of different kind that supports a proof already offered in a proceeding A classic example of circumstantial evidence would be testimony from a witness who arrived at a crime scene to find someone holding a smoking gun. The person holding the gun could have committed the crime in question, but he or she could also be an innocent bystander. A piece of corroborating evidence to support a case against the person holding the gun might come from another witness who testifies to hearing a gunshot seconds before the first witness arrived on the scene, suggesting that the murder would not have had a chance to get away. Conclusive evidence That which cannot be contradicted by any other evidence. For example, a record, unless impeached for fraud, is conclusive evidence between the parties. Relevant evidence

is evidence that is admissible in court based on the fact that it directly pertains to proving the case at hand. It is distinct from irrelevant evidence, which is inadmissible in a court of law since it serves no function. The question of what evidence is relevant depends on the case at hand. Whether a civil or criminal case is being tried, there are generally several elements that go into determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant. For example, first degree murder is defined as the willful, malicious, premeditated and deliberate killing of a victim. Thus, in order for a prosecutor to prove that a defendant is guilty of premeditated murder, he must prove that the action was willful or intentional, that the defendant committed the killing to be malicious, that he planned it beforehand, that he committed the murder on purpose and that the victim was actually killed. If the prosecutor cannot prove malice, for example, or premeditation, the murder may be considered second degree murder instead.