Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What is the purpose of a criminal trial?? What is the difference between factual guilt and legal guilt?? What do we mean by the term adversarial system??watch2.htmSchmalleger_CJ_B | Wridemy

What is the purpose of a criminal trial?? What is the difference between factual guilt and legal guilt?? What do we mean by the term adversarial system??watch2.htmSchmalleger_CJ_B

What is the purpose of a criminal trial?? What is the difference between factual guilt and legal guilt?? What do we mean by the term adversarial system??watch2.htmSchmalleger_CJ_B

 What is the purpose of a criminal trial?  What is the difference between factual guilt and legal guilt?  What do we mean by the term adversarial system

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Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction

Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 8

The Courtroom Work Group and the Criminal Trial

Copyright © 2020, 2018, 2016 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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1

The Courtroom Work Group: Professional Courtroom Actors

Trial

Examination in court of the issues of fact and relevant law in a case for convicting or acquitting a defendant

Two categories of participants in criminal trials

Professionals/courtroom work group

Judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, etc.

Outsiders

Jurors, witnesses, and victims

Not familiar with trial procedures

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Figure 8.1 Participants in a Criminal Trial

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Source: Pearson Education, Inc.

3

The Judge

An elected or appointed public official who presides over a court of law

The trial judge has the primary duty of ensuring justice

Holds the ultimate authority and weighs objections from both sides

Decides on the admissibility of evidence and sentences offenders

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Judicial Selection

Federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate

State judgeships are won through either popular election or political appointment

Missouri Plan

Combines elements of both election and appointment

Designed to counter problems with each method

Also known as the merit plan of judicial selection

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Judicial Qualifications

Nearly all states require judges hold a law degree, be a licensed attorney, and be a member of the state bar

Many require newly elected judges to attend state-sponsored training

In some states, lower court judges may be elected without education or other professional requirements

Nonlawyer or “lay” judges generally hear traffic violations, misdemeanors, small-claims actions, some civil cases

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The Prosecuting Attorney

An attorney who is responsible for presenting the state’s case against the defendant

Also known as district attorney, state’s attorney, county attorney

Most state prosecutors are elected and generally serve four-year terms, with the possibility of reelection

May serve as quasi-legal advisor to local police

Have burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

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Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion

The decision-making power of prosecutors, based on the wide range of choices available to them

Prosecutors have considerable discretion in charging defendants, scheduling cases, accepting negotiated pleas, and so on

Key decision—filing separate or multiple charges

May also make sentence recommendations to the judge

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The Abuse of Discretion

There is considerable potential for abuse of prosecutorial discretion

Gross misconduct by prosecutors may be addressed by the state Supreme Court or state attorney general’s office

The Professional Misconduct Review Unit is responsible for disciplining federal prosecutors who engage in intentional or reckless misconduct

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The Prosecutor’s Professional Responsibility

Prosecutors expected to abide by standards of professional responsibility

ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

Individual state bar associations may have their own standards

Serious violations may lead to being disbarred from practice of law

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The Defense Counsel

An attorney who represents the accused before the court and ensures the defendant’s civil rights are not violated

Three main category of defense attorneys

Private attorneys

Court-appointed counsel

Public defenders

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Private Attorneys

Either have their own practice or work for law firms in which they are partners or employees

Can be very expensive—charge by the hour and include time involved in preparing the case and time in court

Few law students choose to specialize in criminal law

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Court-Appointed Counsel

Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the effective assistance of counsel

The Supreme Court has established that defendants who cannot pay for attorneys must receive adequate representation at all stages of processing

Types of indigent defense

Assigned counsel

Public defenders

Contractual arrangements

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Court-Appointed Counsel—Cases

Powell v. Alabama (1932)

Johnson v. Zerbst (1938)

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

Argersinger v. Hamlin (1972)

In re Gault (1967)

Alabama v. Shelton (2002)

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Assigned Counsel

Usually drawn from a roster of all practicing attorneys within the jurisdiction of the trial court

Fees are paid at a rate set by the state or local government

Fees typically low

May affect the amount of effort the attorney puts into the case

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Public Defenders

State-employed lawyer defending indigent defendants

The public defender system is the primary method used to provide indigent counsel for criminal defendants

Most public defender offices are understaffed

Critics are concerned that they are government employees and thus not independent from judges and prosecutors

Huge caseloads create pressure to use plea bargaining

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Contractual Arrangements

County and state officials arrange with local criminal lawyers to provide for indigent defense on a contractual basis

The least widely used form of indigent defense, although its popularity is growing

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Problems with Indigent Defense

State systems are significantly underfunded

Results in heavy use of plea bargaining

Federal system is not underfunded

Defendants are not required to accept assigned counsel

May waive their right to an attorney and defend themselves

More difficult to obtain a new attorney if they do not like the attorney appointed to defend them

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The Ethics of Defense

Attorneys may become emotionally committed to the outcome of the trial

May cross the line when they lose professional objectivity

Clear ethical and procedural considerations for defense counsel

The American Bar Association provides guidance in the areas of legal ethics and professional responsibility

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The Bailiff

Court officer whose duties are to keep order in the courtroom, secure witnesses, and maintain physical custody of the jury

Usually an armed law enforcement officer

Bailiffs in federal courtrooms are deputy U.S. marshals

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Trial Court Administrators

Responsible for facilitating the smooth functioning of courts in particular judicial districts or areas

Provide uniform court management

Relieve judges of routine and repetitive tasks

Increasingly involved in juror management

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The Court Reporter

Also called a court stenographer or court recorder

Role is to create a record of all that occurs during a trial

The official trial record may later be transcribed in manuscript form and will become the basis for any appellate review of the trial

Frequently uses computer-aided transcription (C A T) software

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The Clerk of Court

Maintains all records of criminal cases, including all pleas and motions made

Prepares the jury pool, issues jury summons, subpoenas witnesses

Marks physical evidence for identification during trial and maintains custody of that evidence

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Expert Witnesses

A person who has special knowledge and skills recognized by the court as relevant to the determination of guilt or innocence

Can express opinions or draw conclusions in their testimony

Is usually viewed by jurors as more trustworthy than other forms of evidence

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Lay Witnesses

Nonexpert witness who may be subpoenaed by either the prosecution or defense

May be an eyewitness or character witness

The job of witnesses is to provide accurate testimony only about things of which they have direct knowledge

Traditionally shortchanged by the judicial process

Many states pay witnesses for each day they spend in court

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Jurors

Juror

Citizens selected for jury duty and required to serve as an arbiter of the facts in a court of law

Jury duty is a responsibility of citizenship

Prospective jurors are usually drawn from tax register, motor vehicle records, or voter registration roles

Minimum qualifications for jury service vary by jurisdiction

Peer jury—composed of a representative cross-section of the community

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The Victim (1 of 2)

Not all crimes have clearly identifiable victims or victims who survive

Victims are often the most forgotten people in the courtroom

They may not even be permitted to participate directly in the trial process

Difficulties encountered by victims in the trial process compared to a second victimization by the criminal justice system

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The Victim (2 of 2)

Key hardships experienced by victims:

Uncertainty about their role in the C J process

Lack of knowledge about the justice system, courtroom procedure, legal issues

Trial delays

Fear of the defendant or of retaliation from the defendant’s associates

Trauma of testifying and cross-examination

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The Defendant (1 of 3)

Generally, defendants must be present at their trials

A defendant who is present at the start of the trial may be voluntarily absent after the trial has commenced

This does not hold if the absence is due to escape or failure to appear

Majority of defendants are poor, uneducated, relatively powerless

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The Defendant (2 of 3)

Defendants can influence courtroom events by exercising choice in

selecting and retaining counsel

planning defense strategy

deciding what information to provide the defense team

deciding what plea to enter

deciding whether to testify personally

determining whether to file an appeal if convicted

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The Defendant (3 of 3)

Defendants suffer from several disadvantages

Tendency of others to assume that anyone on trial must be guilty

Social and cultural differences often separating defendants from professional courtroom staff

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Spectators and the Press (1 of 2)

Often overlooked because lack an official role

Presence supported by 6th Amendment right to public trial

Press reports can create problems

Pretrial publicity can bias potential jurors

News reports may influence nonsequestered jurors

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Spectators and the Press (2 of 2)

Ways to insure fair trial and impartial jury after pretrial release of information

Change of venue

Trial postponement

Jury selection and screening

Caribbean International News Corporation v. Puerto Rico (1993)—extended press access to preliminary hearings

Cameras generally allowed in state but not federal courtrooms

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The Criminal Trial Procedure

Highly formalized

The course of the trial is determined by rules of evidence and other procedural guidelines

Trials are also affected by informal rules and professional expectations

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Nature and Purpose of the Criminal Trial

The primary purpose of a trial is the determination of the defendant’s guilt or innocence

Factual guilt

Legal guilt

Adversarial system

The two-sided structure under which American criminal trial courts operate (prosecution vs. defense)

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Figure 8.3 Stages in a Criminal Trial

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Source: Pearson-Education, Inc.

36

Trial Initiation

Sixth Amendment provides for the right to a speedy trial

Federal Speedy Trial Act (1974)

Allows for dismissal of federal criminal charges if the prosecution does not seek an indictment or information within 30 days of arrest or if a trial does not begin within 70 working days after indictment or initial appearance

Only applies to federal courts

Most state laws set limits of 90 or 120 days

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Jury Selection (1 of 2)

Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury

Attorneys use challenges to ensure impartiality of jury

Three types of challenges recognized

Challenges to the array

Challenges for cause

Peremptory challenges

During jury selection, attorneys question potential jurors in a process known as voir dire examination

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Jury Selection (2 of 2)

Scientific jury selection

Use of social science techniques to predict if potential jurors will vote for conviction or for acquittal

Shadow jury

Hired court observers who assess the impact of a defense attorney’s arguments

Sequestered jury

Isolated from the public during the trial and deliberation process

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Jury Selection and Race

Race alone cannot provide the basis for jury selection

Juries may not be intentionally selected for racial imbalance

Despite this, peremptory challenges continue to tend toward racial imbalance

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Opening Statements

The initial statement of the prosecution or the defense made in a court of law to a judge or to a judge and jury describing the facts that he or she intends to present during trial to prove the case

Evidence is not offered during opening statements

Attorneys may only mention evidence they believe can and will be presented during trial

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Presentation of Evidence

Presentation of evidence is the crux of the criminal trial

First, the state has the opportunity to present evidence intended to prove the defendant’s guilt

After the state rests its case, the defense is given the opportunity to present evidence favorable to the defendant

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Types of Evidence

Direct evidence

Proves a fact without requiring an inference

Circumstantial evidence

Indirect evidence that requires judge or jury to make inferences and draw conclusions

Real evidence

Physical material or traces of physical activity

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Evaluation of Evidence

Trial judge decides which evidence can be presented to the jury

Examines relevance of evidence to case at hand

Must also weigh probative value of evidence

The degree to which evidence is useful in proving something important in a trial

Evidence may have only limited admissibility

Harmless error rule

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Testimony of Witnesses (1 of 2)

Testimony is the oral evidence offered by sworn witness on the stand during the trial

The chief means by which evidence is introduced at trial

Before witness may testify, questioning attorney must establish witness’s competence to testify

Key decision for defense attorney is whether to put the defendant on the stand

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Testimony of Witnesses (2 of 2)

Examination of witnesses

Direct examination—occurs when witness first called to the stand

Cross-examination—examination of witness by someone other than the direct examiner

Redirect examination

Recross examination

Witnesses may commit perjury and intentionally make statements they know are untrue

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Children as Witnesses

Area of special concern, especially when children are also victims

37 states allow the use of videotaped testimony in criminal courtrooms and 32 permit the use of closed-circuit T V

This allows the child to testify out of the presence of the defendant

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The Hearsay Rule

Hearsay

Anything not based on personal knowledge of a witness

Hearsay rule prohibits the use of “secondhand evidence”

Based on Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause

Exceptions to the hearsay rule

Dying declaration

Spontaneous statements

Out-of-court statements

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Closing Arguments

At the conclusion of a criminal trial, both sides have the opportunity for a final narrative presentation to the jury

States vary as to the order, but nearly all allow the defense attorney to speak first

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Judge’s Charge to the Jury (1 of 2)

Judge reminds the jury of their duty to consider evidence objectively and impartially

Judge may review the statutory elements of the offense, the burden of proof, the reasonable doubt standard

Some judges provide a summary of the evidence presented

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Judge’s Charge to the Jury (2 of 2)

Half the states allow judges to express their own views on witness credibility and the significance of evidence

Other states only permit judges to summarize evidence in an objective and impartial manner

Following the charge, the jury leaves the courtroom and begins deliberations

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Jury Deliberations and the Verdict

Deliberations may be very brief or last for days or weeks

Many jurisdictions require juries reach a unanimous verdict

Supreme Court has ruled that unanimous verdicts are not required in noncapital cases

Hung jury—jury is deadlocked and cannot agree on a verdict

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Problems with the Jury System (1 of 2)

Some questions about the ability of the American jury system to do its job

Difficult to understand modern legal complexities

Difficult to separate emotions and fact

Jury may be dominated by members with forceful personalities

Jurors may suffer from inattention

May be unable to understand expert witness testimony

Jurors may fear personal retaliation

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Problems with the Jury System (2 of 2)

Alternatives

Panel of judges who would both render a verdict and impose sentence

Would require change to 6th Amendment right to trial by jury

Professional jurors

Would be paid by government like other courtroom actors

Would be trained to have expertise to sit on any jury

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Copyright

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