Presentation on theme: "Importance of Pretrial Procedures"— Presentation transcript:
1 Importance of Pretrial Procedures Pretrial procedures are importantcomponents of the justice processbecause the great majority of allcriminal cases are resolved informallyat this stage and never comebefore the courts.
5 Preventive DetentionHolding a defendant for trial based on a judge’s finding that, if the defendant were released on bail, he or she would endanger the safety of any other person and/or the community or would flee
6 Preventative Detention: The Controversy FOR AGAINSTBased on the notion that certain offenders will commit crime while on releaseSociety has the right to be protected from future criminal actsIt is a form of punishment which is not based on a guilty verdict and is based on something that MIGHT happen
7 United States v. Salerno (1987) The Supreme Court held that the preventive detention act had a legitimate and compelling regulatory purpose and did not violate the due process clause.Preventative detention was not designed as a punishment, but to prevent danger to the community which is a legitimate societal goal.
8 Plea Bargaining and Trials Pleas TrialsCase dispositionRelationships involvedLegal issuesPros and ConsReformCase dispositionJuriesTrial processEvaluating the jury systemAppeals
10 Plea BargainingDefined: a defendant’s agreement to plead guilty with the reasonable expectation of receiving some consideration from the state for doing soBlackledge v. Allison (1976) – Supreme Court acknowledges mutual advantageTrial or Plea – which is best bet for a given defendant?
11 Relationships in Plea Bargaining Players involvedIncentives involvedTacticsRemember Going RateImplicit vs. Explicit Plea BargainingSlow Plea – more likely as time goes onStrength of each side’s case: bluff or real deal?
12 Legal Issues in Plea Bargaining Voluntary – Boykin v. Alabama (1969)Prosecutors – Santobello v. New York (1971)Defendants – Ricketts v. Adamson (1987)Threats - Bordenkircher v. Hayes (1978)Supreme Court on Plea Bargains
13 Pros and Cons of Plea Bargaining Pro ConImproves efficiencyReduces costsAllows concentration on serious casesAvoids pretrial detention and delaysIndividualized justiceEncourages defendants to waive constitutional rightsResults in lesser sentences and sentencing disparityMay coerce innocent to plead guiltyLow visibilityBreeds disrespect for the law – a “game show”
15 Reforming Plea Bargaining Make it more:visibleunderstandablefairCreate specific guidelines.Require judicial supervision over the process.Place limits on the process.Alaska ban 1975 – no great effectsCalifornia 1982 – moves to preliminary stage
16 TRIALSOnly 5% of allcases are heardby a jury trial.
17 VITAL FUNCTIONS OF THE JURY Prevent government oppressionDetermine guilt (facts)Represent communityServe as bufferEducate citizensSymbolize rule of law
18 Sixth Amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and publictrial, by an impartial jury of the State anddistrict wherein the crime shall have beencommitted...to be informed of the natureand cause of the accusation; to beconfronted with the witnesses against him;to have compulsory process for obtainingwitnesses in his favor, and to have theAssistance of Counsel for his defense.Sixth Amendment
19 The Right to Confront Witnesses Provides for a control over hearsay evidence and allows the veracity of witnesses to be challengedHelps the accused in preparation of a defense to know who will present testimony for the stateDoes not necessarily mean a face-to-face confrontation
20 Right to a Jury TrialThis right is guaranteed for all serious crime - not all crimeConstitution does not require a 12 person jury, smaller juries may be permittedThe Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments do not mandate a unanimous verdict in all cases
21 The Right to Counsel at Criminal Trials Bill of Rights6th AmendmentPowell v.AlabamaIn Re GaultFourteenthAmendmentGideon v.WainwrightArgersinger v.Hamlin
22 Right to a Speedy Trial Improve the credibility of the trial Purposes for this guarantee include:Improve the credibility of the trialReduce defendant anxietyAvoid pretrial publicityAvoid adverse effects on the ability to present a defense
23 Time Limits for Speedy Trials Constitution does not specify a time limitMost states have adopted statutes which define reasonable limitsFederal Speedy Trial Act of 1974provides time limits for various stages of the adjudication processprovision for fining defense counsels causing delays
24 Jury Selection Process Jury pool of 200to 1,000 citizensdrawn each monthfrom source listReturn to jury poolPanel30Guilty plea or dismissedVoirDireSelectedfor jury14Challengedor not used16Guilty plea or dismissedJury14Trial
25 Jury Selection Process Jury pool of 200to 1,000 citizensdrawn each monthfrom source listJury Selection ProcessMost jurisdictions use a numberof sources for the names of potentialjurors. The lists are sorted and duplicatesare discarded. The jury pool is thenselected on a random basis. The termthat jury pools serve vary from jurisdictionto jurisdiction.
26 Jury Selection Process Jury pool of 200to 1,000 citizensdrawn each monthfrom source listJury Selection ProcessA panel of potential jurors is randomlyselected for each jury trial. The size ofthe panel may be increased dependingon the possible difficulty of selecting aqualified jury.Panel30
27 The voir dire is a process of selecting potential jurors. Both prosecution anddefense may object to jurorsand challenge themperemptorily or for cause.Panel30VoirDireSelectedfor jury14Challengedor not used16
28 Challenge for CausePurpose is to determine if someone is unfit to serve.Prosecution and defense want someone who is sympathetic to their side of the case.Judge and both sides ask questions.Number of these challenges is unlimited.
29 Peremptory Challenges Enable attorneys to excuse jurors for no particular reason or for undisclosed reasons.Number of challenges are limited.Can’t be used to eliminate jurors on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender.
30 Jury Selection Process Jury pool of 200to 1,000 citizensdrawn each monthfrom source listJurors that are notselected are returnedto the pool for possibleuse on another jury.Panel30VoirDireSelectedfor jury14Challengedor not used16Jury14
31 Steps in a Jury Trial Voir Dire Prosecutors opening statement to the juryVoir DireDefense attorney’s openingstatement to the juryProsecutor’s presentation of evidenceand direct examination
32 Steps in a Jury Trial Defense attorney’s cross- examination Defense attorney’s presentation ofevidence and direct examinationProsecutor’s cross-examination
33 Steps in a Jury Trial Defense attorney’s closing statements to the juryProsecutor’s closing statementsto the jury (summation)Judge’s instructions to the jury onthe rule of law, evidence andstandards of proof
34 Jury deliberation and voting Pronouncement of the verdict Steps in a Jury TrialJury deliberation and votingPronouncement of the verdictJudicial sentencing
35 Criminal Evidence Testimonial evidence from witnesses Real or physical evidenceCircumstantial or indirect evidence
36 Criteria of Admissibility of Evidence RelevancyProbativenessNonprejudicialReliabilityLegally obtained
37 Instructions to the Jury Judge’s responsibilityProvides jury with information about the lawelements of the crimeevidence required for proofburden of proof requiredImproper instructions are often the basis for an appeal
38 The Verdict Guilty Not guilty Hung jury judge will normally set a date for sentencing and ask for a presentence investigation reportNot guiltydefendant is free to leaveHung jurycase may be retried
39 Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: What Does it Mean? A doubt of 7 1/2 on a scale of 10.A doubt based on reason and common sense.Not frivolous or fanciful doubt.Substantial doubt.Persuasion to a moral certainty.A doubt that would cause prudent persons to hesitate before acting in a matter of importance to themselves.
40 SentencingNormally after review of a Presentence Investigation Report in felony casesRules applying to discretionary decisions by judges regarding the kind and severity of sentence vary among jurisdictionsOne of the most important and visible decisions by the judge
41 Judges v. Juries Judges and juries do not always evaluate evidence in the same way. Juries oftenlook at the nature of the victim, the act(e.g. self defense) and whether thedefendant took the stand.
42 Appeals Most are unsuccessful. They are based on some “legal” contention. Issues tend to deal with the introduction and sufficiency of evidence and jury instructions.Homicides and other serious crimes against persons account for more than 50% of all appeals.Most appeals arise from cases in which the sentence is five years or less.