Assess Key Influences Affecting the Outcomes of Criminal Cases

Assess Key Influences Affecting the Outcomes of Criminal Cases

Key Influences on Criminal Cases Outcomes

Matters of Fact

  • Circumstances of the offence: The details of the crime itself, including where it happened, how it was executed and who was involved.
  • Physical evidence: This refers to tangible items that are directly linked to the crime scene or to the people involved.
  • Witness testimony: Statements given by people who have knowledge about the crime, either because they witnessed it, they have an understanding of the circumstances leading up to it, or they were told something about it.

Quality of Evidence

  • Reliability of evidence: The extent to which the evidence can be trusted to reflect what truly happened.
  • Admissibility of evidence: Not all the information collected can be used as evidence. There are rules that determine whether or not it is lawful to use the evidence in court.
  • Valid interpretations of evidence: The way evidence is construed can greatly impact the case’s outcome.
  • Proper Conduct: If law enforcement or prosecutors behave inappropriately, it could have profound consequences for the case, including suppression of evidence, dismissal of charges, or successful appeals.
  • Legal representation: The skill of the lawyers involved, particularly those representing the accused.

Judicial Discretion

  • Judge’s interpretation: How the judge chooses to apply the law in a particular case can greatly impact the outcome.
  • Jury belief and bias: What a jury believes about a case often depends on their perceptions of the crime, the accused, and the victims. Bias and emotions can influence their judgments.

Societal Issues

  • Public opinion: High-profile cases can be influenced by public opinion, which may apply pressures to the courtroom.
  • Media Coverage: The media portrayal of the case, the accused, or the victim might affect how the case is handled and perceived by the public and the jury.