Trial Judge Credibility

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In your every day, ordinary lives, the credibility one has is important. No vocation requires more skill to assess the credibility of others than in the court system. On any given day a trial judge faces many people whose lives hang in the balance and will likely do anything to keep from being restricted from their freedoms. People will lie, twist the truth, and conveniently remember things differently all to hide the sordid truth. Knowing this, it becomes increasingly apparent that the courts, judges and representatives need to have a keen ability to assess credibility.
When analyzing a witness testimony, the first thing to consider is; is this witness telling the truth or are they lying? One must be able to spot the small nuances and …show more content…

A calm person lends themselves to someone who is reliable and can be trusted. A person who is erratic or emotional could be seen as overly dramatic or not dependable. It is important when preparing your witnesses, that you make this fact known to the person you represent and the people who are there to assist your case. Even small movements could cause a judge to consider facts that you find help/hurt you.
When questioning a witness, one must consider their mannerisms. Are they being forthright and responding in a timely manner or are they evading the question, arguing or even hesitating. Someone who is not credible will feel as if their back is against the wall and lash out or act defensive. As with all things, it is easier and better to tell the truth. With the truth, there is no need to try and recall the exact phrasing or small details that you used to embellish your story. The truth gives a witness confidence to answer the questions without hesitation which lends itself to …show more content…

A story that seems highly improbably or impossible is likely to be so. The bigger the embellishments the more likely it is that the testimony is false, the same could be said of minimizing a story. A testimony that casts a witness in a near perfect light lends to their lack of credibility. In R. v. McKay, there were special scrutiny both as a result of judicial experience and as a matter of law. Accomplice evidence is recognized to be potentially dangerous because an accomplice may be motivated to shift blame away from him or herself to otherwise distort evidence to gain advantage. As supported in R. v. Vetrovec, it is said that juries must be told, and trial judges must remember, that it is dangerous to rely upon the unsupported evidence of an accomplice or other unsavoury witness, without more. You should look for some type of confirming evidence, although this is not a legal requirement.
Courts look for inconsistencies between witnesses. Minor differences such as times, distances, speed, have a limited effect on reliability and can enhance, rather than detract from the credibility of a witness as too much similarity can suggest collusion between

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