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EVIDENCE, CIRCUMSTANTIAL. The proof of facts which usually attend other
facts sought to be, proved; that which is not direct evidence. For example,
when a witness testifies that a man was stabbed with a knife, and that a
piece of the blade was found in the wound, and it is found to fit exactly
with another part of the blade found in the possession of the prisoner; the
facts are directly attested, but they only prove circumstances, and hence
this is called circumstantial evidence.
2. Circumstantial evidence is of two kinds, namely, certain and uncertain. It is certain when the conclusion in question necessarily follows as, where a man had received a mortal wound, and it was found that the impression of a bloody left hand had been made on the left arm of the deceased, it was certain some other person than the deceased must have made such mark. 14 How. St. Tr. 1324. But it is uncertain whether the death was caused by suicide or by murder, and whether the mark of the bloody hand was made by the assassin, or by a friendly hand that came too late to the relief of the deceased. Id. Vide Circumstances.