The purpose of this paper is to discuss the rules of evidence, to explain what goes on in a jury room during deliberations, and to dicuss notetaking by jurors and why a judge might discourage such a practice. The rules of evidence generally deal with relevancy,materiality, and competence more then hearsay, best evidence, and improper expert witness. Relevancy is used as a rule because irrelevant evidence does not add any evidentiary value and actually weighs down the relevant evidence of a trial or proceeding because its not related to the actual case or issue.
Materiality is used as a rule because evidence has to have some material fact to it, to put it into simple. Now on to competency, this rule is used because the evidence must be competent to show how a act was committed or to provide proof of a theory. Hearsay “: a rule barring the admission of hearsay as evidence The hearsay rule is stated in Rule 802 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Hearsay is inadmissible as evidence because of the unavailability of cross-examination to test the accuracy of the statement. There are numerous exceptions to the rule, however, mainly for statements made under circumstances that assure reliability.
Statements made spontaneously, for example, or as part of a business or medical record are inherently trustworthy and thus excepted from the rule. A statement need not be made orally for purposes of the hearsay rule. Written statements, gestures, and even motion pictures are included. ” (Lexis-Nexis). Best evidence is defined as “evidence that is the most reliable and most direct in relationship to what it is offered to prove” (Lexis-Nexis), best evidence is very similar to relevancy because they both should correlate to one another, basically one compliments the other.
An improper expert witness would a expert witness who has the knowledge that a lay person would not, however the improper portion happens because the person did not witness the actual act. 2 In addition to the rules of evidence, what goes on in a jury deliberation room is a recap of all the testimony and evidence that is presented from both sides, jurors each examine all the evidence and each arrives at a verdict of guilty or not guilty usually.
The votes are then tallied and a decision is made, although some times a jury may end up as a hung jury or even an acquittal. Finally, note taking by jurors is used because its a way for jurors to recollect key points of a trial to make a decision of not guilty of guilty. Judges discourage this practice because it takes away the attention of the jury to whats actual going on. Basically its a distraction to the whole court proceeding. References http://research. lawyers. com/glossary/best-evidence. html http://research. lawyers. com/glossary/hearsay-rule. html