Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number:
Laws of Criminal Evidence
Analysis of why certain testimony, objects and materials should be admitted or rejected as evidence in criminal trials. Topics include the evolution of the laws of evidence, the trial process, privileges, hearsay, confessions and admissions, pretrial investigation and identification procedures, expert and lay opinion, scientific evidence, character evidence, presumptions, and evidence collection and preservation. Prerequisites: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Most current editions of the following:
Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting course objectives. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.
The instructor may also want to consider directing the student to websites containing Criminal Codes and Criminal Cases, such as http://www.findlaw.com or other legal sites maintained by governmental or not-for-profit entities.
Introduction to Criminal Evidence and Court Procedure
By Hanley and Robbins (McCutchan) Recommended
By Klotter, John C. (Cincinnati Anderson Publishing) Recommended
By Kaci, Judy (Copperhouse Publishing) Recommended
Introduction to Criminal Evidence
By Walz, Jon R. (Nelson Hall) Recommended
Criminal Evidence for the Law Enforcement Officer
By Garland and Stuckey (McGraw-Hill) Recommended
Course Learning Outcomes
Articulate the history and evolution of the law of evidence.
Describe the American criminal trial process.
Explain common legal terminology and methods used by professionals in the criminal justice system
Articulate the reasons why evidence is admitted or excluded in American trials.
Explain the meaning of statutes and Court decisions involving evidentiary issues
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
History of the laws of evidence
Published sources of law
The trial process and classification of evidence
The trial record
Exceptions to the hearsay rule
Examination and impeachment of witnesses
Improper identification evidence
Unreasonable searches and seizures
Confessions and admissions
Burden of proof and substitutes for proof
Real evidence and demonstrative evidence
Evidence collection and storage
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section.
However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.