Criminal Trial Exhibits
Overview of criminal trial exhibits:
In most cases, trial advocates will consider whether to utilize exhibits to prove a case at trial. The exhibits may be actual objects or documents that are factual and probative (murder weapon, forged check, written/recorded admission) or demonstrative (charts, diagrams, models) that may have little or no intrinsic probative value. The former are essential for trial while the latter are helpful but not necessarily essential to prove the case.
It is always helpful and even necessary for the trial advocate, especially Trial Counsel, to identify and inspect all possible exhibits that may be used at trial when meeting with witnesses pre-trial. This is especially helpful when, for example, trial counsel is meeting with all possible law enforcement witnesses to determine which witnesses are necessary to identify the exhibit, foundation, chain of custody, and in that matter help determine which witnesses are essential for trial. In addition, it is always helpful to mark the evidence/exhibits at this stage particularly when determining the number or letter sequence of the exhibits for trial to demonstrate a logical presentation (e.g., chronological).