Methods of Impeachment
- Attacks focused on: Defects in capacity to observe, remember or relate;
untruthful character; bias, partiality, interest in the outcome; prior convictions;
prior inconsistent statements; or delay in reporting abuse or subsequent recantation.
- Defects in Capacity. Here the focus is on the witness’s ability to observe, remember, and relate the information.
- Observation. The common mode of attack is that the witness could not adequately see/hear the incident in question because of poor lighting, cross-racial identification problems, distance from the scene, etc.
- Recall. Because of the witness’s age, mental condition at the time of the
incident or at the time of trial, time lapse between the incident and their
in-court testimony, etc., the witness cannot accurately remember the
- Relate. Because of the witness’s age, mental condition, lack of expertise,
etc., the witness cannot accurately relate the information.
- Rule 608. Untruthful Character.
Rule 608(a) and (b):