Forensic Statistics in the Courtroom

Authored by: Colin Aitken , Franco Taroni

Handbook of Forensic Statistics

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138295407
eBook ISBN: 9780367527709
Adobe ISBN:


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In the Anglo-American legal system, rules of evidence developed incrementally via court opinions resting on the inherent power of courts to define their own procedures. Today, most of the rules in the United States are contained in comprehensive codes, usually enacted by legislatures. The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) govern factfinding in the federal courts, and most states have similar rules. The rules treat all relevant testimony, documents, and real (physical) evidence as admissible unless: (1) a categorical rule (such as the rule against hearsay) * or a procedural or constitutional rule (such as the Sixth Amendment right to confront one’s accusers in a criminal case) excludes it (FRE 402); (2) it would be unduly time consuming, confusing, or prejudicial in light of its probative value in the particular case (FRE 403); or (3) the documents or real evidence are not properly authenticated (FRE 901). *

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