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Introduction to the Criminal Trial

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Criminal Trial"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the Criminal Trial

2 The 10 Parts of a Criminal Trial
1) Jury Selection 2) Opening STATEMENTS 3) Presentation of the Prosecution Case 4) Presentation of the Defense Case 5) Closing ARGUMENT 6) Jury Instructions 7) Jury Deliberation 8) Verdict on Guilt 9) (if Defendant found guilty) Sentencing Phase 10) Judgment and Sentence

3 1) Jury Selection Find out about the jury Challenges for cause
Peremptory challenges Trying to find jurors to dismiss Cause: interest in the case, ineligible for jury duty (felony conviction, not a citizen), can’t be fair and objective, biased. Unlimited challenges for cause. Peremptory: Six in criminal cases, unless it’s a capital offense then you get 12. You don’t have to give a reason (any reason or no reason) but according to Batson, you can’t use peremptory challenges to discriminate, especially race.

4 2) Opening STATEMENTS Prosecution goes first Then Defense

5 3) Presentation of Prosecution Case
Evidence is presented through witness testimony and documents PROSECUTION’S direct examination DEFENSE’S cross-examination

6 4) Presentation of Defense Case
The Defendant has a right NOT to put on a case! DEFENSE’S direct examination PROSECUTION’S cross-examination

7 5) Closing ARGUMENT NOT like opening statements
ARGUES the facts that came out during the case Prosecution goes first Defense goes second Prosecution has an opportunity for “rebuttal”

8 6) Jury Instructions Prosecution and Defense propose instructions for the jury Judge reads the instructions to the jury The jury instructions guide the next part… Each side provides “draft” jury instructions to the judge, and the judge decides what instructions to read to the jury. This may later become an appeal issue—what jury instruction should have been read and what shouldn’t have been read! The attorney doing closing argument should rely heavily on the jury instructions to remind the jury of their obligations!

9 7) Jury Deliberations Deliberations are guided by the jury instructions This picture was taken from the movie “12 Angry Men.”

10 8) Verdict on Guilt Guilty = JURY MUST BE UNANIMOUS
Not Guilty = JURY MUST BE UNANIMOUS “Hung Jury” = non-unanimous

11 9) Sentencing Phase Both sides present evidence
Prosecution presents evidence about why the Defendant should receive a certain sentence Defense presents evidence about why s/he should receive a lesser sentence Defendant can take the stand but s/he’s not under oath There are less strict rules about the sentencing phase.

12 10) Judgment and Sentence
Judgment of guilty The sentence… The judge

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