MA Jury Trial Direct Evidence
Direct evidence is one type of evidence that the jury may consider in a Massachusetts criminal jury trial. Direct evidence is very different than circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is an easier type of evidence to understand. When a witness testifies that he heard, saw, tasted, or felt something that is direct evidence that the jury may consider. When it comes to direct evidence, the jury must consider whether the witness’s testimony is believable. If the jury believes the person’s testimony then the jury can accept the evidence.
Judges give many examples to try to explain direct verses circumstantial evidence. One popular example that judges give is the rain example. Say if you were at work and your co-worker came into the room. He tells you that he was just outside and he saw that is was raining out. Your co-worker’s testimony would be direct evidence that it is raining out. The only thing you need to determine is whether you believe your co-worker or not. If you don’t believe your co-worker, then you should reject the evidence. However, if you believe your co-worker then you can accept the evidence.
The law does not give any more weight to direct evidence verses circumstantial evidence. Jurors may reject all the direct evidence they hear in a case and accept all the circumstantial evidence. The role of the jury is to weigh the evidence and determine what evidence they want to accept.
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