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DIRECT EVIDENCE

proof based upon the witness's own observations that do not require any additional inferences to be drawn.

Compare circumstantial evidence
EXAMPLE:
Direct Evidence: Susan testified that she looked out into her hallway at 4 A.M. and observed her neighbor Mae hitting her husband with a hammer.
Circumstantial Evidence: Susan testified that at 4 A.M. she was awakened by screams and banging noises from the adjoining apartment and the next morning found the injured body of Mae's husband in the hallway. Additional inferences need to be drawn to link Mae to the crime of assaulting her husband.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

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