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1 Trials and Juries Chapter Fourteen. 2 Sixth Amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Trials and Juries Chapter Fourteen. 2 Sixth Amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Trials and Juries Chapter Fourteen

2 2 Sixth Amendment 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, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

3 3 Primary Purpose of the Jury Prevent oppression by the government. Provide a safeguard against corrupt or overzealous prosecutors. Provide safeguard against compliant, biased or eccentric judges.

4 4 Historical Perspective Trial by Jury first used in Athens 500 or 600 B.C. Juries were then employed by the Romans. During the ninth century they appeared in France and transferred to England. First formalized in the Magna Carta of 1215. Codified in Article III, Section of the U.S. Constitution. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in all criminal prosecutions.

5 5 Jury Size During the 14 th century, the size of English juries was fixed at twelve. Williams v. Florida: Twelve jurors is not a constitutional requirement. Six person juries are constitutional in the states, except in capital cases. A defendant in the federal system is entitled to a 12-person jury. Ballew v. Georgia: Fewer than 6 jurors on a panel is unconstitutional.

6 6 Jury Unanimity Johnson v. Louisiana: Federal criminal juries must be unanimous. Apodaca v. Oregon: There is no federal requirement that state juries must be unanimous. State courts may use 9-3 or 10-2 verdicts. Only five states use non-unanimous verdicts. Burch v. Louisiana: Six member juries must be unanimous.

7 7 Constitutional Issues Taylor v. Louisiana: Women cannot be excluded from juries. Batson v. Kentucky: The prosecutor may not exclude a potential juror by peremptory challenge solely on the account of race. Georgia v. McCollum: The defense is prohibited from excluding jurors based on race. J.E.B. Petitioner v. Alabama: Attorneys may not exclude potential jurors from a trial because of their gender.

8 8 Jury Selection Three steps: 1.Master Jury List 2.Venire (jury pool) 3.Voir Dire Challenge for Cause Peremptory Challenge

9 9 Peremptory Challenges Method for excusing a potential juror without specifying the reason. No reason is needed to exercise a peremptory challenge unless one party challenges the peremptory challenge based on race or gender. A means for both sides to remove an otherwise qualified juror.

10 10 Steps of the Criminal Trial Trial –Bench –Jury Jury Selection Opening Statements Prosecution Case in Chief –Direct Examination –Cross Examination –Redirect

11 11 Steps of the Criminal Trial Continued... Defense Case in Chief –Direct Examination –Cross-Examination –Redirect Rebuttal Closing Arguments Jury Instructions Jury Deliberations Verdict Post-verdict Motions

12 12 Burden of Proof The Prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is a legal yardstick measuring the sufficiency of the evidence. Absolute certainty not required. The defense need not prove anything and therefore need not present any evidence.

13 13 Types of Evidence Real Evidence: –Things that are tangible. –Gun, knife, documents, etc. Testimony: –Statements by competent witnesses. Direct Evidence: –That which proves a fact directly. –Usually Eyewitness Testimony. Circumstantial Evidence: –An “inference” that can be made from evidence.

14 14 Rules of Evidence Trustworthiness. Best-Evidence Rule: –Best available evidence possible. –Usually only the original of a document or object is admissible. Hearsay Evidence: –A repetition of what another person has said outside of court. –Not based on personal knowledge. –Generally excluded from trial.

15 15 Relevancy Evidence must not only be trustworthy, but also relevant to the case. There must be a valid reason for introducing the statement, object, or testimony. Evidence not related to an issue at trial is immaterial or irrelevant. Information about a defendant’s character may be used to impeach his or her testimony.

16 16 Scientific Evidence Not all scientific evidence is necessarily admissible. Polygraphs not accepted in court. Hypnosis not accepted in court. Scientific method must be accepted by scientific community: –General acceptance test (Frye v U.S. D.C. Cir.) has been rejected by the court. –Daubert Rule (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Co.).

17 17 Defenses Alibi Defenses –Defendant was elsewhere at the time of crime Affirmative Defenses –Self-Defense –Duress –Entrapment –Insanity –Diminished Responsibility/Capacity

18 18 Insanity Defense McNaughton Rule: The accused is not able to distinguish between right and wrong. Irresistible Impulse: A person is driven to commit an act by an urge that cannot be resisted or overcome because mental disease or derangement has destroyed the freedom of will, the power of self-control, and the ability to choose. Substantial Capacity Test: A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct and as a result of mental disease or defect he or she lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of the conduct or to conform his or her conduct to the regiments of the law.

19 19 Post-Verdict Motions Motion in Arrest of Judgment –Defense argues that the jury could not have reasonably convicted the defendant based on the evidence presented. Motion for new trial –Defense argues that the trial judge made mistakes and therefore a new trial should be held.

20 20 Jury Issues Jury Nullification: the right of juries to nullify or refuse to apply law in criminal cases despite facts that leave no reasonable doubt that the law was violated. Jury Sequestering: to isolate members of a jury from the community until they have reached a final verdict.

21 21 Related Court Issues Venue –Jurisdiction of the court. Change of venue motions –Motion made a party to the lawsuit to change the place where the case is supposed to tried. Often requested when there is a lot of “pretrial publicity.” Gag Order –Forbidding those involved in the case from talking to the press. Contempt of Court –A violation of a Judge’s order.

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