Witness for the Prosecution: The Civil War Letter of Lieutenant George Taylor
Scott, Kim Allen
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/X prosecutor must present the jury with evidence against the defendant which is believable beyond a reasonable doubt. Testimony based on hearsay or the recollections of a witness several years after the crime are always subject to damaging critique by the defense. To bolster a case based on a stale reminiscence, the prosecution may use corroborating evidence: the same story told by two different parties. However, if a sharp defense attorney can show that both sources are of equal antiquity, the corroboration strategy can still be easily defused. The best testimony for substantiating old stories is a witness deposition taken immediately after the crime was committed. The introduction of such evidence can confirm the truth of the dated accounts and win the case for the prosecution.
Scott, Kim Allen. "Witness for the Prosecution: The Civil War Letter of Lieutenant George Taylor." Arkansas Historical Quarterly 48, no. 3 (1989): 260-271.