Course Abstract Details

LGST-111, Criminal Evidence and Procedure

Credits: 3

Course Description

LGST-111, Criminal Evidence and Procedure, examines the principles and techniques of criminal procedure employed during trials to determine the admissibility of physical and testimonial evidence. An analysis of laws and court decisions relating to admissibility is emphasized. Also offered as CRIM-111; credit will not be awarded for both. Prerequisite: exemption/completion of READ-099. Three hours lecture each week. Three credits. Three billable hours.

Course Objectives and Grading Information

Course Objectives  At the conclusion of this course the student will: 

1. Distinguish between admissible and inadmissible evidence. (GE2, GE3, PG1, PG4) 

a. To be admissible in court, evidence must be: Relevant, Material and legally obtained 

2. Discuss the differences between direct and circumstantial evidence and the effects thereof. (GE1, GE2, GE5, GE7, PG1, PG2, PG3) 

a. Direct evidence is the testimony of a person who asserts or claims to have actual knowledge of a fact, such as an eyewitness. 

b. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that tends to establish the facts in dispute by proving the existence of another set of facts from which an inference or presumption can be drawn. 

3. Evaluate opinion evidence as to its weight and effect. (GE2, GE5, GE6, GE7 PG1, PG3) 

a. Sufficient personal knowledge of another individual may well be in a position to render an opinion or evidence 

b. The contact must be close enough to enable the character witness to have sufficient knowledge of the person upon which to base an opinion as to character. 

c. The testimony is limited to the character witness's general opinion. 

4. Identify the exceptions to the hearsay exclusionary rule. (GE2, GE5, PG1, PG 3, PG4) 

a. dying declarations 

b. spontaneous declarations,  

c. state of mind 

d. statements for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment 

e. former testimony 

5. Discuss the effect of privileged communications and the necessity of waivers for admissibility.(GE1, GE2, GE5, GE7, PG1, GE4) 

a. Husband-Wife 

b. Parent-Child 

c. Attorney-Client 

d. Physician-Patient 

e. Patient-Psychotherapist 

f. Clergy-Communicant 

g. Law Enforcement Officer-Informant 

h. Accountant-Client 

i. News Reporter-News Source 

6. Explore the use of unconstitutionally obtained evidence.(GE1, GE2, GE3, GE5, PG1, PG3) 

a. When there is a violation of a defendant's constitutional rights, in addition to the direct fruit of the violation being inadmissible, any evidence derived from the violation is also inadmissible under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. 

b. The U.S. Supreme Court has created an impeachment exception to the rule that excludes statements taken by the police in violation of Miranda. 

c. If a defendant: takes the witness stand, and testifies untruthfully, the prosecutor can use a statement obtained in violation of Miranda to impeach the defendant's testimony.            

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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