“On its own, circumstantial evidence allows for more than one explanation. Different pieces of circumstantial evidence may be required, so that each corroborates the conclusions drawn from the others. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more likely once alternative explanations have been ruled out.
Wikipedia: “A popular misconception is that circumstantial evidence is less valid or less important than direct evidence. Direct evidence is popularly, but mistakenly, considered more powerful.
Many successful criminal prosecutions rely largely or entirely on circumstantial evidence, and civil charges are frequently based on circumstantial or indirect evidence. University of Michigan law professor Robert Precht said, "Circumstantial evidence can be, and often is much more powerful than direct evidence."
Indeed, the common metaphor for the strongest possible evidence in any case—the "smoking gun"—is an example of proof based on circum-stantial evidence. Similarly, fingerprint evidence, and many other examples of contextual evidence that support the drawing of an inference, i.e., circumstantial evidence, are considered very strong possible evidence.
In practice, circumstantial evidence can have an advantage over direct evidence in that it can come from multiple sources that check and reinforce each other. Eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate at times, and many persons have been convicted on the basis of perjured or otherwise mistaken testimony. Thus, strong circumstantial evidence can provide a more reliable basis for a verdict.
Read impressive example of Circumstantial [contextual] Evidence in the subsequent Blog 364!