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Criminal Justice Process: The Trial Mrs. Gurzler
Right to Trial by Jury What amendment gives us this right? Most criminal cases are resolved by guilty pleas before ever reaching trial. Defendants can waive, or give up, their right to a jury trial and instead have their case heard by a judge. Peremptory Challenges – a device an attorney can use a limit number of times in asking a court to exclude a particular juror without giving a reason.
Right to a Speedy and Public Trial This is not defined. Some states have set specific time limits. If they do not have a speedy trial, the case can be dismissed. This happens if the delay is unnecessary.
Right to Compulsory Process Defendant can get a subpoena – a court order – requiring a witness to appear in court to testify. Judges have the power to remove the defendant from the courtroom, to cite him or her for contempt of court, or, in extreme circumstances, have the defendant bound and gagged.
Freedom from Self-Incrimination You cannot be forced to testify against yourself in a criminal trial. Immunity – means that a witness cannot be prosecuted based on any information provided in a testimony. A person with immunity must answer all questions, even if they are incriminating.
Right to an Attorney Gideon v. Wainwright Public defenders or private attorneys Public defenders are typically paid less.
Criminal Appeals The prosecution cannot appeal once the defendant has been acquitted of the offenses for which he or she was tried. The defendant can ask the judge to overturn the jury’s verdict and enter a verdict of not guilty or ask the judge to set aside the jury’s verdict, declare a mistrial, and ask for a new trial. SELDOM SUCCESSFUL.
Criminal Appeals The defendant must file a notice of appeal shortly after the final judgment is entered. New information is not presented at the appeal. In order to win, the defendant, now called the petitioner/appellant, must convince the appeals court that there were serious errors of law made at the trial.
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