Turn States' Evidence Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Turn States' Evidence, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Turn States' Evidence?

(n) Evidence plays a crucial role in any trial. A person involved in that crime is more knowledgeable about the crime than anybody. So with voluntary help from such a person a prosecutor can charge the case completely and clearly. Law support such accused willing to become witness by lenient treatment and light sentences etc. Such accused persons are known as Turn States evidence

History and Meaning of Turn States' Evidence

Turn States' Evidence is a legal term used to describe a situation where an individual who is accused of a crime decides to testify against their accomplices or other individuals involved in the crime in exchange for a lesser charge or sentence. The term originated from the phrase "to turn state's evidence," which means a person is switching sides from being a defendant to a witness to assist the prosecutors in the trial.

The concept of Turn States' Evidence has been used in the judicial system for many years. It has been used as a tool to help build stronger cases against criminal organizations or individuals by providing inside information about the crime or criminals involved. By offering a reduced sentence, prosecutors have been successful in securing the cooperation of those who were formerly hesitant to testify.

Examples of Turn States' Evidence

  1. John, who was accused of embezzlement, decided to turn state's evidence and testify against his co-conspirators.
  2. Mary was charged with drug trafficking, but she turned state's evidence and agreed to testify about her involvement in the crime and her accomplices in exchange for a reduced sentence.
  3. The prosecutor offered a deal to the suspect, if he would turn state's evidence and testify against the suspect's accomplices, the prosecutor would recommend a lighter sentence.

Legal Terms Similar to Turn States' Evidence

  • Immunity: An agreement between the prosecution and a witness, where the witness agrees to testify in exchange for protection from prosecution or legal consequences.
  • Plea Bargain: An agreement between the defense and prosecution, where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge or plead guilty to the original charge with a recommended sentence.
  • Witness Protection Program: A government program designed to protect witnesses who have testified against dangerous criminals by providing them with a new identity and safe living conditions.