The Circumstantial Case

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“The evidence is too weak. Their whole thing is that they need something solid.  There’s nothing solid, like a smoking gun that directly connects him to her at the time that she died. That’s the problem,” Detective Daniel Cunningham said during our conversation back in August about the progress of Patricia Vance’s case.

What exactly is meant by circumstantial evidence?  Let’s compare  it with direct evidence. Direct evidence might be, for example, a witness saying she saw a defendant stab a victim. By contrast, a witness who says she saw the defendant enter a house, she heard screaming, and she saw the defendant leave with a bloody knife is circumstantial evidence. In other words, it requires inference to draw the conclusion that this defendant is guilty. I wanted to argue with Detective Cunningham that cases go to court all the time based only on circumstantial evidence.  

 

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