Can written statements from a witness be used to show their credibility? 2 Answers as of December 07, 2010

If a person is found guilty of a crime due to one persons testimony, when it goes up for an appeal can written statements from that person be used to show the credibility of the person that testified against you?

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Law Office of Matt Potempa, PLLC
Law Office of Matt Potempa, PLLC | Matt Potempa
Generally, what can be shown at the appeal stage will be limited to what was presented at the original trial or what is "in the record". Unless this "impeaching" evidence was presented at trial, it is unlikely an appeals court would allow it to come into evidence. An exception may be if the evidence was attempted to be brought in, but a judge ruled to not allow it for some reason - such as it was hearsay, unauthenticated or simply not relevant.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/7/2010
McWhirter Law Firm
McWhirter Law Firm | Barry McWhirter
As a general rule, an appellate court will only consider what is part of the record. If the written statement was introduced at trial, then it is part of the record and can be used. If it wasn't introduced at trial, then the appellate court probably won't consider it.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/6/2010
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