In every act of violence unlawfully and feloniously committed by any person, the prosecuting lawyer must prove his criminal liability in the crime charged. In doing so, the prosecution must present evidence proving the guilt of the offender.
The law of evidence consists of a body of rules governing the use of testimony as well as the presentation of documentary exhibits to support the position of the parties in a case. It is which should be considered by the trial judge and jury in returning a verdict in a criminal case. The law of evidence dictates whether the evidence presented is admissible for the purpose for which it is offered.
If the evidence is hearsay, the law prohibits the admission or the reception of the same to prove the facts of the case. In proving the guilt of the accused, the law of evidence mandates that the prosecution must follow the standard of proof, the burden of proof and the evidential burden.
The quantum of evidence in a criminal case differs from the civil case, although the law of evidence is the same for both. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt while in a civil case, the plaintiff litigant must prove his case proving only substantial evidence.
In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused when the latter pleaded insanity, avoiding any reference of evidence of insanity. When the accused pleaded insanity, the burden of proving the evidence is shifted to him and not with the prosecution as an exception to the general rule. The jury has the duty to determine if they found that the accused has indeed committed the offence charged, whether the evidence of insanity was proven in all probabilities by the defense.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.