Competency Cases

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Competency Competency has two split meanings in it uses relating to evidence and witness themselves. In regards to evidence, competence refers to admissibility and specifically not hearsay. In regards to witness, the term refers to legal capability of an individual to give reliable facts for use in court of law. The general rule under rule 601 of the federal rule evidence provides that "every person is competent to be a witness except as otherwise provided in these rules". This rule governs and directs in decision making on a witness ability to provide evidence in a trial. It through assessments of competence that it is determined if a court can hear evidence from a particular witness (Nemeth, 2011). Importance of Competency Historically under the provision of common Law, a number of witnesses were considered incompetent to testify. The ability of certain witnesses to provide unquestionable evidence for the fear that they could lie. The agnostics, atheists, parties to a case and their spouses, convicted felons, children, mentally ill persons and persons with an interest to a case were considered incompetent witness under common law. Common law also prevented the use of expert witness in providing evidence to a case (Ferguson & Bouck, 2002). Competency is of importance as a safe guard measure to prevent admission of information as evidence with little or no persuasion on truth. The need to obtain information with high probative value ought to be balanced against
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