- Sep 19, 2014
- Reaction score
As we are headed towards a trial and (amazing!) we have some actual evidence to discuss, it's worth beginning some of the well trodden discussions about the nature of circumstantial evidence vs direct evidence.
Main points to my mind.
1. Circumstantial evidence is not weaker than direct evidence. Indeed it is frequently more powerful due to its cumulative weight. i.e. when we have so many pieces of evidence mapping the accused to what we know about Bridge Guy, it becomes hard to deny that RM must in fact be BG. It is not allowed to henpeck the individual points of circumstantial evidence and speculate them away. Rather one must ask what has been proved, and then make any natural and obvious inferences based on the entire web of facts.
2. Forensic, digital and technical evidence are some of the most powerful forms of circumstantial evidence. We can rely on them much more than fallible humans!
3. Video can be used as direct evidence! In this case we have a video directly proving key elements of the actus reus and going to identity. That is big! (But easy overlooked because we knew about it for years). Think how hard this case is without the video - BG is just a person seen at 50 yards, and we wouldn't even know for sure BG was the killer. With video, I would convict him based on the witnesses, his car and the ammunition match on the bullet - even without expert analysis.
Always up for anorak discussions of evidence
If you would convict Allen based on the publicly released portions of the video and publicly released assertions regarding the witnesses, Allen's car, and the bullet, you would not be adhering to the standard of guilt being proven beyond all reasonable doubt.