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Join the conversation! There are now 8 comments on this chapter's page 61. Let Your Witness Do the Talking. What are your thoughts?
  1. Furslid says

    So the best way to do witness questioning would be to have them tell their story and have non leading questions asked at the end.

    Would it also be a useful change to have this recorded and entered into evidence instead of having the witness respond to leading questions months later at trial?

    • “Regarding depositions to preserve testimony, the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes a constitutional right of the defendant to be present during the deposition and to cross-examine the witness”

      It won’t fly that way, the questions have to be asked again unless the defendant is there, which would be quite a stretch.

      • but i guess after having a non leading questioning, the story “stuck” in the witness’s mind will be more similar to the real one, and from what ive seen, most cross examination use facts to disprove testimony, which would work anyway.

        • Not true. Good cross-examination is vital, because when you bring a witness in, you need to determine the credibility of the witness. Even well-intentioned witnesses can make mistakes, omit certain facts, or miss key details that cross-examination can draw out, and a malicious witness who can spin a well-rehearsed story for the cops can have his testimony shredded by a good lawyer who can pick out inconsistencies and lies on cross. These are things you cannot do with a videotape, and even when a deposition is used for evidence in place of testimony when a witness is unavailable (because they died, for instance), there’s a cross during the deposition.

          (and for what it’s worth, when you are questioning a witness, you can’t ask leading questions anyways, except during cross or under special circumstances)

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