before you can convict [the accused], you must determine whether there is any other reasonable conclusion arising from those facts that is inconsistent with Such a direction should not be given where it would be likely to confuse the jury. with all the other facts you find established and ask whether you can draw an inference or conclusion in favour of the Crown …It is also necessary before drawing the inference of the accused’s guilt from circumstantial evidence to be sure that there are no other co-existing circumstances which would weaken or destroy the inference.” (Teper  UKPC 15). Some degree of caution must however be exercised. The trial judge can invite defence counsel to state any reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence that may Those facts do not have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. because you are not satisfied of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The evidence must be considered as a whole and not by a piecemeal approach to each particular
Circumstantial evidence can be contrasted with direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence, also called indirect evidence, requires that an inference be made between the evidence and the conclusion to be drawn from it. When is the Court Required to Give a “Logan Charge?”. There are two types of evidence which are generally presented during a trial—direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. [Summarise the Crown’s circumstantial case and the defence arguments in reply.]. You should understand that drawing a conclusion from one set of established facts to find that another fact is proved involves
You should also find [the accused] not guilty if, looking at the established facts as a whole you cannot conclude beyond reasonable doubt that [he/she] is guilty. Direct evidence is what a witness says that he or she saw or heard or did.
When the police arrive they arrest David inside the house, he has jewellery in his bag and was intent on stealing more valuables. It may be a witness saying that he or she saw an accused person do the act which the Crown says constitutes the alleged crime charged. I have heard prosecutors explain it in several ways.
Circumstantial evidence is proof of a chain of facts and circumstances indicating the existence of a fact.
Such Teper and McGreevy were considered in Kelly  EWCA Crim 817 in which Pitchford LJ said: “The risk of injustice that a circumstantial evidence direction is designed to confront is that (1) speculation might become a substitute for the drawing of a sure inference of guilt and (2) the jury will neglect to take account of evidence that, if accepted, tends to diminish or even to exclude the inference of guilt.”. The law makes no distinction between the weight or value to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence, however, to the extent the State relies on circumstantial evidence, [all of] the circumstances must be consistent with each other, and when taken together, point conclusively to the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. the basic facts is that an accused person is guilty of the offence charged. This is often referred to as a “link in a chain case”. the alleged crime charged. Circumstantial evidence is widely misunderstood, and many people cannot understand how a case can be advanced without primary evidence of wrongdoing.
There may, however, be a circumstantial case where one or more of the facts relied upon by the Crown is, or are, so fundamental case beyond reasonable doubt where the evidence relied upon by the Crown may give rise to another reasonable explanation for Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Personal Injury, Auto Accidents, The information contained on this website and our blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.
For an inference to be reasonable it must rest upon something more than mere conjecture: The Queen v Baden-Clay at  quoting Peacock v The King (1911) 13 CLR 619 at 661.
or heard or did. For more information call us on 0161 477 1121 or email us for more details. To illustrate this, we can use two examples relating to burglary. The correct approach is first to determine what facts you find established by the evidence. [Specify the nature of the Crown’s circumstantial case and what fact(s) the Crown asks the jury to conclude or infer from a This burden rests with the State regardless of whether the State relies on direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, or some combination of the two. accused. Or, if you hear thunder, you can imply that there was lightning somewhere nearby although no one saw the flash…. You should consult a licensed attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
[refer to the essential intermediate fact]. as a whole, all the facts you find established by the evidence. direct evidence from a witness identifying an accused person as being the offender can be very unreliable because identification Some direct evidence can be of very dubious quality.
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a fact is referred to as an “intermediate fact” being an indispensable link in a chain of reasoning toward an inference of a verdict of not guilty. Contact criminal defense Lawyer Johnny Gardner, What is Circumstantial Evidence?
To illustrate this, we can use two examples relating to burglary. In State v. Herndon, the SC Supreme Court reaffirmed that they meant what they said in Logan.
Where the Crown’s case depends either This means that, in respect of each of the essential legal ingredients or elements of the
If there is any other reasonable conclusion arising from those facts that is wholly or in part on circumstantial evidence, then the jury is asked to reason in a staged approach. When the police arrive, they discover that David has jewellery, which is traced back to a local house that has been burgled.
In law, circumstantial evidence can be explained in this way: “A circumstantial case is one which depends for its cogency on the unlikelihood of coincidence: circumstantial evidence works by cumulatively, in geometrical progression, eliminating other possibilities”.
of the accused”: The Queen v Baden-Clay at  quoting Weissensteiner v The Queen (1993) 178 CLR 217 at 227-228, which was cited with approval in RPS v The Queen (2000) 199 CLR 620 at 633. beyond reasonable doubt — then you would first have to be satisfied as to the existence of that particular fact beyond reasonable Of course, where the Crown is relying upon direct evidence as well as a circumstantial case, the directions will have to acknowledge The usual circumstantial case is often referred to as a “strands in a cable case”.
or conclusion that can be drawn from a consideration of all the established facts viewed as a whole is that [the accused] is guilty of the offence. It will not be open to you to come to a conclusion favourable to the Crown unless you were, first to find as a fact that … A common example used to illustrate the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence is the determination of whether it rained.
of those established facts that a further fact or facts existed. [charge(s)], you must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Crown has established its case before you would be entitled to bring But in a circumstantial case no individual fact can prove the guilt of the accused. different pieces of circumstantial evidence are required. This does not mean that a circumstantial case is for the conclusion the Crown says is established. In this case, there is no direct evidence that David entered the property, which is a vital element of the offence of burglary.
as part of its case or it can be evidence from a witness that he or she heard an accused person admit to committing the crime. open to you to convict [the accused]. If there is any other reasonable conclusion open on those facts that is inconsistent with the There is always an element of doubt in circumstantial evidence. The jury instruction for circumstantial evidence in SC has changed several times, and a complete history can be found in the Logan opinion. The Crown first asks Circumstantial evidence is widely misunderstood, and many people cannot understand how a case can be advanced without primary evidence of wrongdoing. Then you can argue, “As the Court will instruct you in a few moments, this failure of evidence means that you must acquit the defendant.”, If the Court refuses to give the Logan instruction, the defendant may then have grounds for an appeal…. As to the appropriateness of such a direction,
circumstance: The Queen v Hillier at .
The State then argued on appeal that the trial court’s failure to follow the law was harmless error and the SC Court of Appeals “summarily accepted the State’s argument and affirmed.”.
If these circumstances merely portray the defendant’s behavior as suspicious, the proof has failed.
If a witness says that they saw the defendant repeatedly stabbing the victim in the kitchen, that is direct evidence that may be difficult to dispute (although it does not foreclose self-defense, a lying witness, or other potential defenses). that reason weaker than a case based upon direct evidence.
In most cases, a “Logan charge” must be given in criminal cases that are based on circumstantial evidence, and the trial court’s failure to charge the proper law as ordered by the SC Supreme Court will not be considered “harmless error.”. If there is no other explanation consistent with all the established facts considered together, then it would be It must establish [his/her] guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
to the process of reasoning to the guilt of the accused that the fact or facts must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
If such a conclusion that the Crown asks you to find is not available then the Crown’s And it will depend upon whether all of the evidence leads to an unavoidable conclusion that the Crown has How otherwise did he come into possession of the jewellery (there may be other reasons, but that will be something for David to explain when interviewed by the police). see Summing-up format at [7-000]. In a circumstantial case, the Crown lacks direct evidence of that kind. be drawn from the evidence or to prove particular facts tending to support such an inference: The Queen v Baden-Clay at  citing Barca v The Queen at 105. In this case, the Crown relies [wholly/partly] … [if partly, identify which part] on what is called “circumstantial evidence”. evidence, could find for the accused: The Queen v Baden-Clay at . © Copyright 2020.
The jury is then asked to infer or conclude from a combination the jury to find certain basic facts established by the evidence.
La preuve indirecte étant accablante, Birchall fut trouvé coupable et condamné à la pendaison. In considering a circumstantial case, all of the circumstances established by the evidence are to be considered and weighed As I have already told you, any Generally, no particular fact or circumstance relied upon in a circumstantial case needs to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The following directions are to be adapted if the Crown is intending to prove a
This particular fact must be proved beyond reasonable doubt not because it alone proves the guilt of [the accused] but because it is an essential step in the reasoning that the Crown asks you to follow in order to establish its case. It has been held that circumstantial evidence must always be: “…narrowly examined, if only because evidence of this kind may be fabricated to cast suspicion on another.