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Introduction to Criminal Justice Chapter 9. Pretrial Criminal Process Initial appearance: Immediately after arrest (usually 48 hours) Magistrate informs.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Criminal Justice Chapter 9. Pretrial Criminal Process Initial appearance: Immediately after arrest (usually 48 hours) Magistrate informs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Criminal Justice Chapter 9

2 Pretrial Criminal Process Initial appearance: Immediately after arrest (usually 48 hours) Magistrate informs defendant of charge, rights, appoints counsel Bail is set by magistrate If unable to make bond, usually detained Misdemeanor cases---Defendant may plead guilty at this stage

3 Bail Definition: The amount or conditions set by the court to ensure that an individual accused of a crime will appear for further criminal proceedings. If the accused provides bail, by cash or a bail bond, he is released from custody. 8 th amendment prohibits “excessive bail” Must be reasonable Two purposes of bail---Assure appearance of defendant, and prevent another crime by defendant Jude could set bail at amount to assure defendant will not be released

4 Types of Bail Release Release on Recognizance (ROR): Released at no cost; little risk Initiated in 1960’s with Manhattan Bail Project (Less than 5% failed to appear) Originally required only a phone and job Aimed at ending the disparity of release opportunities for rich vs. poor Felons rarely released on ROR

5 Other Types of Bail Release Cash bond---Often defendant cannot make this Property bond---usually requires double the bond amount set Bond sometimes posted by bail bondsman (For 10% fee) Several states have outlawed bail bondsmen (Is it an ethical practice?)

6 Preventative Detention Definition: Allows judges to deny bail to suspects with prior records or violence, or non-appearance for trial Federal courts---Bail Reform Act of 1984 allows defendant to be held without bond to assure “safety of any other person and the community.” Critics say detaining people who have not yet been convicted is unconstitutional

7 Preliminary Hearing---Within a “Reasonable Time” Judge decides if evidence is sufficient for case to proceed to trial “Mini-trial” to evaluate the evidence of prosecution Have to only prove “probable cause,” not definite guilt Judge rarely dismissed case at this point— Hearing is often waived

8 The Pretrial Stage Grand jury: a group of citizens who decide if probable cause exists –50% of states require a grand jury to determine if case should go to trial (Not Iowa) –Secret sessions, controlled by prosecutor Indictment: Formal charge filed by grand jury declaring there are grounds for a trial

9 Pretrial Stage Information: Filed by prosecutor as a formal charge--- replaces police complaint (not approved by grand jury) Discovery: Process whereby the prosecutor and defense counsel may review the evidence the other party has

10 Case Attrition Prosecutor prioritizes cases--- Screens some out Do not have resources to prosecute every case; instead considers--- –Sufficient evidence for conviction? –Case priorities—May target certain crimes –Uncooperative, unreliable victims (Domestic) –May dismiss or reduce charge for cooperating defendant

11 Pretrial Motions Usually filed by defense counsel to contest charges filed Motion to suppress illegally seized evidence Change of venue Invalid search warrant employed Undue delay in bringing case to trial Motion to gain access to prosecutor’s evidence

12 Arraignment Defendant is formally charged, and must plead guilty or not guilty May also plead no lo contendere –Neither an admission or denial of guilt –Consequences are same as for guilty plea –Try to avoid stigma of an actual plea

13 Pleas of Guilty Plea bargaining usually takes place before the beginning of a trial Defendant agrees to plead guilty to a certain offense, usually in exchange for a specific sentencing recommendation from prosecutor Save court resources Prosecutors gain a certain conviction Agreement always subject to court approval

14 Pleas of Guilty Some prosecutors may avoid mandatory minimum sentences with plea bargains May help prosecutor “save” questionable case Favorable plea agreements often the best defense counsel can do for clients Defendants usually receive more lenient sentence than if go to trial Partially, because most cooperate

15 Criminal Trials Sixth amendment guarantees defendants: –Speedy and public trial –Impartial jury –Informed of the charge against them –Confronted with witnesses –Present own witnesses (compulsory appearance) –Have assistance of counsel

16 Speedy Trial Requirements 6 th amendment is not specific as to time States vary as to time requirements “Unwarranted delay” is prohibited Speedy Trial Act in Federal Court--- –No more than 30 days between arrest and indictment –No more than 10 days between indictment and arraignment –No more than 60 days between arraignment and trial Statute of limitations sets requirement for filing a charge

17 Juries In felony cases, defendant is entitled to a trial before a jury; generally 12 citizens If defendant prefers, he may have a trial before a judge, or a bench trial Jury verdicts must usually be unanimous (Iowa included) A few states allow 1-3 dissenting votes

18 Fifth Amendment Right Defendant cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself--- Right not to testify Witnesses have same right, unless given immunity May not hold it against defendant that he chose not to testify

19 Defendant is Presumed Innocent The prosecutor must prove him guilty Must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” Reduces the threat of convicting innocent people Theory---worse to convict an innocent person than to allow a guilty one to go free Worst case scenario---death penalty

20 Selection of Jury Goal is to obtain a cross section of community on jury Must be: –U. S. Citizens –18 year of age –No felony convictions –Able to understand issues of a trial –Able to comprehend English

21 Jury Process Jury pool comes from voters or drivers’ lists Venire is a list of all those called to duty at one time Voir Dire: where jurors are questioned by attorneys to determine biases Trying to find jurors who identify with their respective cause (not impartial)

22 Jury Process Attorneys may challenge a potential juror : –“For cause,” if they appear to be biased or otherwise unfit for service (incompetent) –“Peremptory challenge,” solely on lawyer’s subjective reasoning 5-10 for felony trials May not use challenges to screen out jurors because of race or gender Challenges were historically used improperly

23 Trial Process Opening statements: summary of what lawyer intend to present as their case Presentation of evidence: –Anything used to prove the existence or non-existence of a fact –Testimony---live statements by witnesses –Real evidence---exhibits, physical items Direct evidence: Does not rely on inference Circumstantial evidence: Only established fact by inference

24 Evidence Must be relevant to be admissible, tending to prove or disprove a fact Prejudicial evidence: tends to distract the jury from the main issues of the case Generally includes the prior record of defendant

25 Prosecutors’ Case Needs to present corpus delicti (body of the offense) to jury, showing facts that crime was committed Direct examination involves questioning witnesses favorable to your position Hearsay is testimony about a statement made by someone else---not usually admissible

26 Cross Examination of Witnesses Opposing attorney questions witness May use leading questions, attempts to damage credibility of witness Followed by redirect examination, and recross examination Each side has two chances to question each witness Testimony is anti-climactic

27 Defendant’s Case Presentation Not required to offer any case whatsoever Wants to expose weaknesses in the case presented by prosecution Focus doubt on credibility of witnesses, victims Often attack victim’s credibility in sexual assault cases (Duke Lacrosse example)

28 Other Strategies of Defense Alibi defense: Accused was not at the scene of crime, was elsewhere Affirmative defenses: –Self defense--- –Insanity –Duress –Entrapment Defendant must prove his own case

29 Final Stages of Trial Rebuttal: Prosecution may bring forward new evidence to refute defendant’s case Surrebuttal: Defense may then have same opportunity regarding prosecution’s evidence Closing arguments: Attorneys summarize their cases, and emphasize shortcomings in other side’s presentation

30 Judge’s Charge to Jury Jury instructions: Judge sets forth rules of law jury must apply in reaching their verdict Instructions are prepared during a special charging conference with judge & lawyers Judge explains basic legal principles and what prosecution is required to prove If cannot agree on a verdict, it is a hung jury 30% of cases resulted in initial unanimous vote

31 Toward a Jury Verdict (Fig. 9.9) Jury considers the evidence and instructions as a group in private Submits a verdict based on vote of all jurors– Unanimous in most states If cannot agree on verdict, it is hung jury 30% of cases resulted in initial unanimous vote

32 Possibilities for Retrial Federal charge, if offense is both a state and federal violation (Stacy Koon) Civil case filed by victim for damages (O. J. Simpson)

33 Appeals: Process of Seeking a Higher Court’s Review of Lower Court Ruling Generally available to only the defense Prosecution cannot generally appeal acquittal, due to double jeopardy prohibition Cannot try a person twice for same crime (5 th amendment) Used to correct an error made by the trial court

34 Process of Appeal Can ask higher court to review a policy to determine if change is required –Example– Miranda v. Arizona Appeals Court considers— –Written briefs– legal arguments and precedents –Oral arguments –Record from lower court U. S. Courts Of Appeals cases are final, unless appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court

35 Habeas Corpus– “You Have the Body” Commands corrections officials to bring a prisoner before a Federal Court to hear claim he is being illegally held Can only address constitutional issues regarding his detention


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