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Evidence Commons

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Witnesses

Duke Law

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Narrative, Truth, And Trial, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2013

Narrative, Truth, And Trial, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

This Article critically evaluates the relationship between constructing narratives and achieving factual accuracy at trials. The story model of adjudication— according to which jurors process testimony by organizing it into competing narratives—has gained wide acceptance in the descriptive work of social scientists and currency in the courtroom, but it has received little close attention from legal theorists. The Article begins with a discussion of the meaning of narrative and its function at trial. It argues that the story model is incomplete, and that “legal truth” emerges from a hybrid of narrative and other means of inquiry. As a result ...


The Special Threat Of Informants To The Innocent Who Are Not Innocents: Producing “First Drafts,” Recording Incentives, And Taking A Fresh Look At The Evidence, Robert P. Mosteller Jan 2009

The Special Threat Of Informants To The Innocent Who Are Not Innocents: Producing “First Drafts,” Recording Incentives, And Taking A Fresh Look At The Evidence, Robert P. Mosteller

Faculty Scholarship

Fabricated testimony by informants often plays an important role in convictions of the innocent. In this article, I examine the particularly problematic situation of defendants who are innocent of the particular crime charged but are not strangers to crime. As to such defendants, potential informants abound among crime associates, and they have a ready story line that authorities are preconditioned to accept. Independent proof, which could be an antidote, will predictably be lacking. Indeed, that the informant has exclusive, critical knowledge often leads the prosecution to offer particularly tempting deals.

I focus on the case of Lee Wayne Hunt, a ...