Concept

Circumstantial evidence

Résumé
Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—such as a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference. Overview On its own, circumstantial evidence allows for more than one explanation. Different pieces of circumstantial evidence may be required, so that each corroborates the conclusions drawn from the others. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more likely once alternative explanations have been ruled out. Circumstantial evidence allows a trier of fact to infer that a fact exists. In criminal law, the inference is made by the trier of fact to support the truth of an assertion (of guilt or absence of guilt). Reasonable doubt is tied into circumstantial evidence as that evidence relies on inference.
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