Evidence Tampering

Chris William Sanchirico, University of Pennsylvania Law School & Wharton School, Business and Public Policy Department

53 Duke L. J. 1215 (2004).


Current writing on evidence tampering - inclusive of the destruction, fabrication, and suppression of evidence - creates the impression that our system of litigation is in a state of fundamental disrepair. This article suggests that this perception may merely reflect defects in the conventional view of trial's purpose. The conventional view sees trial as a standalone device for uncovering micro-historical truths about what has already come to pass. In contrast, this article advocates viewing trial as but one component of the overall mechanism by which the legal system influences everyday behavior. When trial is viewed less in terms of discerning past events, and more in terms of shaping future events, several apparently troublesome aspects of the existing system gain substantial justification, and the way is paved for a more fruitful evaluation of current doctrine. Available for download at http://ssrn.com/author=2205