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Evidence Commons

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Boston College Law School

Boston College Third World Law Journal

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate: An Approach For Evaluating Credibility In America's Multilingual Courtrooms, Daniel J. Procaccini Jan 2011

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate: An Approach For Evaluating Credibility In America's Multilingual Courtrooms, Daniel J. Procaccini

Boston College Third World Law Journal

In the American justice system, the jury is the ultimate and exclusive finder of fact. In particular, credibility determinations are sacrosanct, and no witness is permitted to “invade the province of the jury” by testifying as to another party’s credibility. This rule is strictly enforced despite being thoroughly discredited by behavioral research on the ability of jurors to detect deception. In the modern multilingual courtroom, this rule places linguistic minorities at a distinct disadvantage. The communication gap between cultures is vast, and courtroom interpretation suffers from many well-documented inadequacies that can profoundly affect a fact-finder’s conclusions about a ...


"Minute And Separate": Considering The Admissibility Of Videotaped Forensic Interviews In Child Sexual Abuse Cases After Crawford And Davis, Kimberly Y. Chin Nov 2010

"Minute And Separate": Considering The Admissibility Of Videotaped Forensic Interviews In Child Sexual Abuse Cases After Crawford And Davis, Kimberly Y. Chin

Boston College Third World Law Journal

Child sexual abuse is one of the least prosecuted crimes in the United States in part because of the many evidentiary challenges prosecutors face. In 2004, the Supreme Court introduced a new standard for determining the admissibility of out-of-court statements made by declarants who are unavailable to testify at trial. In Crawford v. Washington, the Supreme Court held that testimonial statements are only admissible at trial if the declarant is unavailable to testify and there was a prior opportunity for cross-examination. This Note will examine Crawford’s impact on the admissibility of videotaped forensic interviews with child victims of sexual ...


Reevaluating Recanting Witnesses: Why The Red-Headed Stepchild Of New Evidence Deserves Another Look, Shawn Armbrust Jan 2008

Reevaluating Recanting Witnesses: Why The Red-Headed Stepchild Of New Evidence Deserves Another Look, Shawn Armbrust

Boston College Third World Law Journal

Courts have generally disfavored evidence from recanting witnesses. This article examines the standards laid out in Berry v. State and Larrison v. United States that courts use when considering motions for new trials based on new evidence. It next explores some of the reasons courts have disfavored recantations. Recent cases involving DNA exonerations present useful lessons for evaluating recantations and weaken many of the reasons courts have used to reject such evidence. Because DNA evidence is not readily available in most cases, however, the current framework has led to incarceration of innocent defendants. Given these lessons, courts must find new ...