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originally posted by: LungFuMoShi
I created this account specifically to respond to this thread, I did my best.
Validity of circumstantial evidence
A popular misconception is that circumstantial evidence is less valid or less important than direct evidence[ambiguous]. This is only partly true: direct evidence is popularly, but mistakenly, considered more powerful[by whom?]. Many successful criminal prosecutions rely largely or entirely on circumstantial evidence, and civil charges are frequently based on circumstantial or indirect evidence. Much of the evidence against convicted American bomber Timothy McVeigh was circumstantial, for example. Speaking about McVeigh's trial, University of Michigan law professor Robert Precht said, "Circumstantial evidence can be, and often is much more powerful than direct evidence."  The 2004 murder trial of Scott Peterson was another high-profile conviction based heavily on circumstantial evidence.
Indeed, the common metaphor for the strongest possible evidence in any case—the "smoking gun"—is an example of proof based on circumstantial evidence[ambiguous]. Similarly, fingerprint evidence, videotapes, sound recordings, photographs, and many other examples of physical evidence that support the drawing of an inference, i.e., circumstantial evidence, are considered very strong possible evidence.
In practice, circumstantial evidence can have an advantage over direct evidence in that it can come from multiple sources that check and reinforce each other. Eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate at times, and many persons have been convicted on the basis of perjured or otherwise mistaken testimony. Thus, strong circumstantial evidence can provide a more reliable basis for a verdict. Circumstantial evidence normally requires a witness, such as the police officer who found the evidence, or an expert who examined it, to lay the foundation for its admission. This witness, sometimes known as the sponsor or the authenticating witness, is giving direct (eye-witness) testimony, and could present credibility problems in the same way that any eye witness does.
However, there is often more than one logical conclusion inferable from the same set of circumstances. In cases where one conclusion implies a defendant's guilt and another his innocence, the "benefit of the doubt" principle would apply. Indeed, if the circumstantial evidence suggests a possibility of innocence, the prosecution has the burden of disproving that possibility.
Circumstantial evidence is most often employed in criminal trials. Many circumstances can create inferences about an accused's guilt in a criminal matter, including the accused's resistance to arrest; the presence of a motive or opportunity to commit the crime; the accused's presence at the time and place of the crime; any denials, evasions, or contradictions on the part of the accused; and the general conduct of the accused.
originally posted by: PhyllidaDavenport
a reply to: MotherMayEye
The chances of us little people on the ground getting to the truth or proof etc is remote to say the least
We can only go on what we're shown and told and that of course is censored
We have to take the circumstantial apply some thought and basically go with it see where it leads if anywhere, because we've nothing else to go on