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Object As Evidence

Object Evidence
   Those addressed to the senses of the court.(Rule 130, Sec.1)
   It includes the anatomy of a person or ofany substance taken
   therefrom.(US v. Tan Teng)

   General rule: When object is relevant to the fact in issue, it may
   be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court.(Rule 130, Sec.1)

   Exception: Court may refuse introduction of object evidence and
   rely on testimonial alone if:
   1. Its exhibition is contrary to public policy, morals or decency
   2. It would result in delays, inconvenience, unnecessary expenses,
      out of proportion to the evidentiary value of such object
      (People vs.Tavera)
   3. The evidence would be confusing or misleading.(People vs. Saavedra)

Where an object is relevant to a fact in issue, the court may acquire
knowledge thereof by actually viewing the object, in which case such
object becomes object evidence or by receiving testimonial evidence

The fact that an ocular inspection has been held does not preclude a
party from introducing other evidence on the same issue.

Whether an ocular inspection is to be made or not lies in the
discretion of the trial court.

An ocular inspection conducted by a judge without notice to or
presence of the parties is invalid as an ocular inspection is a part
of the trial.

The Court May Refuse The Introduction of Object Evidence and Rely on
Testimonial Evidence Alone if:
1. The exhibition of such object is contrary to morals or decency
2. To require its being viewed in court or in an ocular inspection
   would result in delays, inconvenience, unnecessary expenses out
   of proportion to the evidentiary value of such object
3. Such object evidence would be confusing or misleading, as when
   the purpose is to prove the former condition of the object and
   there is no preliminary showing that there has been no substantial
   change in said condition
4. The testimonial or documentary evidence already presented clearly
   portrays the object in question as to render a view thereof

Even if the object is repulsive or indecent, if a view of the same
is necessary in the interest of justice, such evidence may still be
exhibited but the court may exclude the public from such view.

Object evidence includes any article or object which may be known
or perceived by the use of any of the senses.

      Example: examination of the anatomy of a person or of any
      substance taken therefrom, or the examination of the
      representative portrayals of the object in question, such as
      maps, diagrams or sketches, pictures or audio-visual recordings,
      provided the same are properly authenticated.

Just like ocular inspection, which are only auxiliary remedies
afforded to the court, such observations of the court may be
amplified by interpretations afforded by testimonial evidence,
especially by experts.

NOTE: Documents are object evidence if the purpose is to prove their
existence or condition, or the nature of the handwriting thereon,
or to determine the age of the paper used, or the blemishes or
alterations thereon, as where falsification is alleged. Otherwise,
they are considered documentary evidence if the purpose is to
establish the contents or tenor thereof.

Object evidence may consist of articles or persons, which may be
exhibited inside or outside the courtroom; it may also be a mere
inspection of an object or an experiment.

Object Evidence
   Is a tangible object that played some actual role on the matter
   that gave rise to the litigation. For instance, a knife.

Demonstrative Evidence
   Is a tangible evidence that merely illustrates a matter of
   importance in the litigation such as maps, diagrams, models,
   summaries and other materials created especially for litigation.

The Distinction between object and demonstrative evidence is
important because it helps determine the standards that the evidence
must meet to be admissible. For Object Evidence, the required
foundation relates to proving that the evidence is indeed the
object used in the underlying event. The foundation for Demonstrative
Evidence, does not involve showing that the object was the one used
in the underlying event, but the foundation generally involves the
showing that the demonstrative object fairly represents or
illustrates what it is alleged to illustrate.

Physical evidence is the highest form of evidence.

Requisites For The Admissibility Of The Object Evidence:
1. Must be relevant to the fact in issue.

         Example: In murder case, the prosecution offered in evidence
         a gun. The gun must have some connection to the crime. There
         must be a logical nexus between the evidence and the point
         on which it is offered.

2. Object must be authenticated before it is admitted. Authentication
   usually consists of showing that the object was involved in
   underlying event.

The “chain of custody” method of authentication requires that every
link in the chain of custody – every person who possessed the object
since it was first recognized as being relevant to the case, must
explain what he did with it.

In order that photographs may be given as evidence, it must be shown
that it is the true and faithful representation of the place or
object which to which they refer. Photographs may be verified by the
photographer or any person acquainted with the object represented and
testify that the same faithfully represents the object.

For tape recordings, the ff. must be shown:
1. The recording device was capable of recording testimony
2. The operator of the device was competent
3. Establishment of the correctness or authenticity of the recording
4. Deletions, additions, changes have not been made
5. Manner of the preservation of the recording
6. Identification of the speakers
7. Testimony elicited was voluntarily made.

Authenticated fingerprints may be compared to fingerprints found on
the crime scene.

Two theories on whether the court may compel the plaintiff to submit
his body for inspection in personal injury cases:
1. No, because the right of a person to be secured of the possession
   or control of his person is sacred.
2. Yes, because if it is not allowed then the court will be an
   instrument of the grossest injustice and therefore the object for
   which courts are instituted would be defeated since the courts will
   be compelled to give a one-sided decision.

   Weight of authority favors the first 2nd theory.

The accused may be compelled to submit himself to an inspection of
his body for the purpose of ascertaining identity or for other

There cannot be any compulsion as to the accused taking dictation
from the prosecuting officer for the purpose of determining his
participation in the offense charged.

Whenever the defendant, at the trial of his case, testifying in his
own behalf, denies that a certain writing or signature is in his own
hand he may on cross-examination be compelled to write in open
court in order that the jury may be able to compare his handwriting
with the one in question.

Where the object in question cannot be produced in court because it
is immovable or inconvenient to remove, it is proper for the tribunal
to go to the object in its place and there observe it.