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Twelve Angry Men: Trial Procedures

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Presentation on theme: "Twelve Angry Men: Trial Procedures"— Presentation transcript:

1 Twelve Angry Men: Trial Procedures

2 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.

3 Pretrial Processes Arrest Booking Initial Appearance
Grand Jury / Preliminary hearing - indictment - information Arraignment Pretrial Motions

4 Preventive Detention 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

5 Preventive Detention: The Controversy
FOR AGAINST 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

6 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.

7 Plea Bargaining and Trials
Pleas Trials Defined Relationships involved Pros and Cons Reform Functions Juries Trial process Evaluating the jury system Appeals

8 Plea Bargaining 90% of all convictions

9 Plea Bargaining Defined: a defendant’s agreement to plead guilty with the reasonable expectation of receiving some consideration from the state for doing so Trial or Plea – which is best bet for a given defendant?

10 Relationships in Plea Bargaining
Players involved Incentives involved Tactics Slow Plea – more likely as time goes on Strength of each side’s case: bluff or real deal?

11 Pros and Cons of Plea Bargaining
Pro Con Improves efficiency Reduces costs Allows concentration on serious cases Avoids pretrial detention and delays Individualized 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”

12 Length of Sentence: Pleas vs. Trials

13 TRIALS Only 5% of all cases are heard by a jury trial.

Prevent government oppression Determine guilt (facts) Represent community Serve as buffer Educate citizens Symbolize rule of law

15 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 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

16 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

17 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

18 Right to a Speedy Trial Improve the credibility of the trial
Purposes for this guarantee include: Improve the credibility of the trial Reduce defendant anxiety Avoid pretrial publicity Avoid adverse effects on the ability to present a defense

19 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

20 Jury Selection Process
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Return to jury pool Panel 30 Guilty plea or dismissed Voir Dire Selected for jury 14 Challenged or not used 16 Guilty plea or dismissed Jury 14 Trial

21 Jury Selection Process
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.

22 Jury Selection Process
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list 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. Panel 30

23 The voir dire is a process of selecting
potential jurors. Both prosecution and defense may object to jurors and challenge them peremptorily or for cause. Panel 30 Voir Dire Selected for jury 14 Challenged or not used 16

24 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.

25 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.

26 Jury Selection Process
Jury pool of 200 to 1,000 citizens drawn each month from source list Jurors that are not selected are returned to the pool for possible use on another jury. Panel 30 Voir Dire Selected for jury 14 Challenged or not used 16 Jury 14

27 Steps in a Jury Trial Voir Dire Prosecutors opening statement
to the jury Voir Dire Defense attorney’s opening statement to the jury Prosecutor’s presentation of evidence and direct examination

28 Steps in a Jury Trial Defense attorney’s cross- examination
Defense attorney’s presentation of evidence and direct examination Prosecutor’s cross-examination

29 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

30 Jury deliberation and voting Pronouncement of the verdict
Steps in a Jury Trial Jury deliberation and voting Pronouncement of the verdict Judicial sentencing

31 Criminal Evidence Testimonial evidence from witnesses
Real or physical evidence Circumstantial or indirect evidence

32 Criteria of Admissibility of Evidence
Relevancy Probativeness Nonprejudicial Reliability Legally obtained

33 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

34 The Verdict Guilty Not guilty Hung jury
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

35 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.

36 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

37 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.

38 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.

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