Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
The drafting of a concept for closing arguments is an excellent mechanism to prepare for cross-examination. The closing arguments will confirm your version and at the same time refute the version of the opposing side. Questions put to the witness in cross-examination will enable you to argue your closing arguments.
It is called the reverse process – facts are triggered during your cross-examination by planning ahead the points you want to argue in your closing arguments.
Aspects that influence the credibility of the evidence:
- The version of the prosecutor / witness contradicts the versions of further evidence.
- The version of the prosecutor / witness is inconsistent when that person’s version is tested during cross-examination.
- The version of the prosecutor / witness is not corroborated by further evidence and there is a gap in documentary evidence.
- The version of the prosecutor / witness is unreliable if his/her version changes continuously; the memory of the prosecutor / witness regarding his version is unclear.
- The version of the prosecutor / witness is biased because the person has an interest in the outcome of the matter.
- The version of the prosecutor / witness is unlikely; the possibility is too far-fetched.
The witness must admit to certain facts to prevent his/her version from being seen as a lie, a misconception or unlikely. The witness must make the concession himself/herself, or you must be in possession of documentary proof which makes his/her version unbelievable, or the witness’s version exceeds logical thinking.
Author: Hannes de Kock