Presentation on theme: "Importance of Pretrial Procedures Pretrial procedures are important components of the justice process because the great majority of all criminal cases."— Presentation transcript:
Importance of Pretrial Procedures Pretrial procedures are important components of the justice process because the great majority of all criminal cases are resolved informally at this stage and never come before the courts.
Holding 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
Preventative Detention: The Controversy Based on the notion that certain offenders will commit crime while on release Society has the right to be protected from future criminal acts It is a form of punishment which is not based on a guilty verdict and is based on something that MIGHT happen FOR AGAINST
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.
Plea Bargaining and Trials Case disposition Relationships involved Legal issues Pros and Cons Reform Case disposition Juries Trial process Evaluating the jury system Appeals Pleas Trials
Plea Bargaining 90% of all convictions
Defined: a defendant’s agreement to plead guilty with the reasonable expectation of receiving some consideration from the state for doing so Blackledge v. Allison (1976) – Supreme Court acknowledges mutual advantage Trial or Plea – which is best bet for a given defendant?
Players involved Incentives involved Tactics Remember Going Rate Implicit vs. Explicit Plea Bargaining Slow Plea – more likely as time goes on Strength of each side’s case: bluff or real deal?
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
Pros and Cons of Plea Bargaining FImproves efficiency FReduces costs FAllows concentration on serious cases FAvoids pretrial detention and delays FIndividualized justice Encourages defendants to waive constitutional rights Results in lesser sentences and sentencing disparity May coerce innocent to plead guilty Low visibility Breeds disrespect for the law – a “game show” Pro Con
Length of Sentence: Pleas vs. Trials
Reforming Plea Bargaining Make it more: –visible –understandable –fair Create specific guidelines. Require judicial supervision over the process. Place limits on the process. Alaska ban 1975 – no great effects California 1982 – moves to preliminary stage
Only 5% of all cases are heard by a jury trial. TRIALS
Prevent government oppression Determine guilt (facts) Represent community Serve as buffer Educate citizens Symbolize rule of law
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed...to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. Sixth Amendment
The Right to Confront Witnesses Provides for a control over hearsay evidence and allows the veracity of witnesses to be challenged Helps the accused in preparation of a defense to know who will present testimony for the state Does not necessarily mean a face-to-face confrontation
Right to a Jury Trial This right is guaranteed for all serious crime - not all crime Constitution does not require a 12 person jury, smaller juries may be permitted The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments do not mandate a unanimous verdict in all cases
The Right to Counsel at Criminal Trials Bill of Rights 6th Amendment Powell v. Alabama In Re Gault Fourteenth Amendment Gideon v. Wainwright Argersinger v. Hamlin
Right to a Speedy Trial Improve the credibility of the trial Reduce defendant anxiety Avoid pretrial publicity Avoid adverse effects on the ability to present a defense Purposes for this guarantee include:
Time Limits for Speedy Trials Constitution does not specify a time limit Most states have adopted statutes which define reasonable limits Federal Speedy Trial Act of 1974 –provides time limits for various stages of the adjudication process –provision for fining defense counsels causing delays
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Panel30Panel30 Selected for jury 14Selected 14 Jury14Jury14 Challenged or not used 16Challenged 16 VoirDire Jury Selection Process Return to jury pool Guilty plea or dismissed Trial
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Jury Selection Process Most jurisdictions use a number of sources for the names of potential jurors. The lists are sorted and duplicates are discarded. The jury pool is then selected on a random basis. The term that jury pools serve vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Panel30Panel30 Jury Selection Process A panel of potential jurors is randomly selected for each jury trial. The size of the panel may be increased depending on the possible difficulty of selecting a qualified jury.
Panel30Panel30 Selected for jury 14Selected 14Challenged or not used 16Challenged 16 VoirDire The voir dire is a process of selecting potential jurors. Both prosecution and defense may object to jurors defense may object to jurors and challenge them and challenge them peremptorily or for cause. peremptorily or for cause.
Challenge for Cause Purpose 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.
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.
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Panel30Panel30 Selected for jury 14Selected 14 Jury14Jury14 Challenged or not used 16Challenged 16 VoirDire Jury Selection Process Jurors that are not selected are returned to the pool for possible use on another jury.
Steps in a Jury Trial Prosecutors opening statement to the jury Defense attorney’s opening statement to the jury Prosecutor’s presentation of evidence and direct examination Voir Dire
Steps in a Jury Trial Defense attorney’s cross- examination Defense attorney’s presentation of evidence and direct examination Prosecutor’s cross-examination
Steps in a Jury Trial Defense attorney’s closing statements to the jury Prosecutor’s closing statements to the jury (summation) Judge’s instructions to the jury on the rule of law, evidence and standards of proof
Steps in a Jury Trial Jury deliberation and votingPronouncement of the verdict Judicial sentencing
Criminal Evidence Testimonial evidence from witnesses Real or physical evidence Circumstantial or indirect evidence
Criteria of Admissibility of Evidence Relevancy Probativeness Nonprejudicial Reliability Legally obtained
Instructions to the Jury Judge’s responsibility Provides jury with information about the law –elements of the crime –evidence required for proof –burden of proof required Improper instructions are often the basis for an appeal
The Verdict Guilty –judge will normally set a date for sentencing and ask for a presentence investigation report Not guilty –defendant is free to leave Hung jury –case may be retried
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.
Sentencing Normally after review of a Presentence Investigation Report in felony cases Rules applying to discretionary decisions by judges regarding the kind and severity of sentence vary among jurisdictions One of the most important and visible decisions by the judge
Judges v. Juries Judges and juries do not always evaluate evidence in the same way. Juries often look at the nature of the victim, the act (e.g. self defense) and whether the defendant took the stand.
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.