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Stephen L. Richards Law Firm of Richards and Lyon 773-817-6927

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Presentation on theme: "Stephen L. Richards Law Firm of Richards and Lyon 773-817-6927"— Presentation transcript:

1 Stephen L. Richards Law Firm of Richards and Lyon

2  “Real” or “Physical” Evidence – Objects or Materials which prove some fact at issue and which may be admitted  “Demonstrative Aid” – an object not itself evidence which aids the trier of fact in weighing other testimony  “Demonstrative Evidence” --- sometimes means “physical” sometimes means “aid”  Evidence, Argument, and Jury Instructions

3  Prosecution always has more physical evidence – crime scene photos, morgue photos, etc.  Defense needs some counterbalance  “When in doubt, physicalize”

4  The purpose of demonstrative evidence is to aid the trier of fact in interpreting, understanding, and weighing other evidence or testimony. ( People v. Smith (1992), 241 Ill.App.3d 365, 380, 182 Ill.Dec. 667, 676, 610 N.E.2d 91, 100.)

5  If it appears that demonstrative evidence was used for dramatic effect, or emotional appeal, rather than factual explanation useful to the reasoning of the jury, such use should be regarded as reversible error.  People v. Madison 264 Ill.App.3d 481, 487, 637 N.E.2d 1074 (Ill.App. 1 Dist.,1994)

6 The decision of whether to allow a witness to use a demonstrative aid is within the sound discretion of the trial court and will not be reversed upon review absent an abuse of that discretion which results in prejudice to the defendant. Smith, 241 Ill.App.3d at 380, 182 Ill.Dec. at 676, 610 N.E.2d at 100.

7  Replacements  Experiments -- People v. Smith 241 Ill.App.3d 365 (Ill.App. 5 Dist. 1992)  Blackboards, Powerpoints, Charts People v. Hamilton 80 Ill.App.3d 794, 400 N.E.2d 599 (Ill.App. 1 Dist., 1980)

8 Here, no fingerprints were found at the scene that did not belong to the victims. Therefore, the perpetrator(s) most likely wore something to cover fingerprints. The bloody glove could have been used in the commission of this crime, and it was up to the jury to determine its weight. The State took a calculated risk in asking defendant to try on the glove. It may not have fit.

9  Find out what the prosecution wants to do  Pick something which doesn’t need to be previewed  Tell the judge she has discretion

10  8 foot poster of the defendant’s criminal record People v. Williams (1994), 161 Ill.2d 1, 204 Ill.Dec. 72, 641 N.E.2d 296; People v. Bounds, 171 Ill.2d 1, *57, 662 N.E.2d 1168 (1995). Headless mannequin dressed in dead officer’s uniform blouse with splatter brains still visible People v. Murray Blue


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