Adverse Inference – John H. Wigmore – Quote

It has always been understood – the inference, indeed, is one of the simplest in human experience – that a party’s falsehood or other fraud in the preparation and presentation of his cause, his fabrication or suppression of evidence by bribery or spoliation, and all similar conduct is receivable against him as an indication of his consciousness that his case is a weak or unfounded one; and from that consciousness may be inferred the fact itself of the cause’s lack of truth and merit. The inference thus does not necessarily apply to any specific fact in the cause, but operates, indefinitely though strongly, against the whole mass of alleged facts constituting his cause.

John H. Wigmore
Evidence in Trials at Common Law § 278, at 133 (James H. Chadbourn ed., rev. ed. 1979).
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