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What Is Witness Testimony?

Individuals who can provide insight into a case are referred to as witnesses. Such individuals render statements that are relevant to the ongoing court case. The statement given by a witness is called a witness testimony. A witness gives this testimony on a witness stand by answering questions asked by the legal counsel of either the prosecution or the defense.

A witness testimony can serve different purposes, depending on the goal of the legal defense that solicited the witness. It can be a statement that correlates with the case of either the defendant or the plaintiff, or an opinion that may substantiate a claim made by the defense or the prosecution. A witness testimony can also be used to provide a character reference when the character of one of the litigants is in question.

An eyewitness, a person who actually observed the events that occurred relevant to the case, provides a statement that describes such events in his or her witness testimony. He or she can be questioned by the legal counsel regarding only the events that he or she was privy to. A character witness provides a witness testimony that may affirm or deny a litigant’s character or conduct and is limited to discuss only the aforementioned. An expert witness provides a witness testimony that involves his or her area of expertise. Such a witness testimony involves scientific facts like that of a coroner commenting on the autopsy report or expert opinions like that of a psychologist commenting on the behavior of a litigant and his or her mental faculties.

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