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AJ 50 – Introduction to Administration of Justice

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1 AJ 50 – Introduction to Administration of Justice
Chapter 8 – Courtroom Work Group and Criminal Trial

2 Courtroom Work Group Courtroom professionals including…
Judge Prosecuting Attorney Defense Attorney Public Defender Other miscellaneous participants Each plays a particular role in overall administration of justice

3 The Judge Elected or appointed public official who presides over a court of law and who is authorized to hear and sometimes to decide cases and to conduct trials The Roles of the Judge… Rule on matters of law Decide guilt or innocence in bench trials Manage the court Judicial Discretion Judge has the authority to make rulings based on laws and procedures

4 The Prosecuting Attorney
Attorney whose official duty is to conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the State or the People against criminal defendants Roles of the Prosecutor… Represent the People Act as quasi-legal advisor of local police Demonstrate guilt beyond a reasonable doubt Prosecutorial Discretion Decision-making authority regarding how to handle individual cases

5 The Defense Attorney Hired or appointed attorney who conducts legal defense of defendant and represents him or her before a court of law Roles of the Defense Counsel Represent the accused Protect the Defendant’s rights File appeals Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963) Extended right to counsel (Public Defender) to all indigent defendants

6 The Bailiff Court officer whose duties are to keep order in the courtroom and to maintain physical custody of the jury Roles of the Bailiff Act as court officer Ensure order Call witnesses Prevent the escape of the accused Supervise a sequestered jury

7 Court Administrators, et al.
Provide uniform court management Scheduling and record-keeping Personnel/budget administration Space-utilization and facilities planning Court Reporter Stenographer or recorder who creates record of all that occurs during a trial Clerk of the Court Maintains all records in criminal cases

8 Witnesses Subpoena Lay witness Expert witness
Written order requiring witness’s appearance in court Lay witness Eyewitness, character witness, or other person called on to testify Not considered an expert Must testify to facts only, no opinions Expert witness Special knowledge and skills recognized by the court as relevant to determining guilt or innocence May express opinions/draw conclusions

9 Jurors Members of a trial (or grand jury) who have been selected for jury duty and is required to serve as an arbiter of the facts in court Expected to render verdicts of “guilty” or “not guilty” Trier of the Facts “Hung Jury” is the inability to give a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt

10 The Victim Special type of witness Hardships of victimization
Uncertain as to their role Lack of knowledge regarding the legal system Trial delays that result in frequent travel, missed work, and wasted time Fear of retaliation Trauma of testifying and cross-examination

11 The Defendant Defendants must be present at all stages of their trials
If initially present, the defendant may be voluntarily absent Defendants have choice in… Counsel Defense strategy Information to divulge Whether to testify Whether to file an appeal

12 The Press and Public The Sixth Amendment requires a public trial
Press reports often create preconceived ideas, opinions, biases about a case Difficult to find impartial jurors Change of Venue Movement from one jurisdiction to another to ensure a fair trial

13 Nature and Purpose of the Criminal Trial
Adversarial System Prosecution vs. Defense In theory, justice is done when the most effective adversary is able to convince the judge or jury that his or her perspective on the case is the correct one Rules of Evidence Govern the admissibility of evidence presented during trial

14 Trial Initiation Sixth Amendment guarantees right to a speedy trial
Speedy Trial Act (1974) Federal law requiring that criminal proceedings begin within specified period of time Applies only in federal courts, but some states have similar requirements

15 Jury Selection Sixth Amendment guarantees trial by impartial jury
Voir Dire Process of questioning prospective jurors Challenges For Cause Specific reason Peremptory Attorney does not have to disclose reason

16 Trial Proceedings Opening Statements Presentation of Evidence
Initial statement of Prosecution or Defense describing the facts to be presented to prove the case Evidence is not offered Defense may focus on Prosecutor’s burden-of-proof requirement Presentation of Evidence Anything offered to prove/disprove disputed fact Assist judge/jury make decision in a case

17 Types of Evidence Real Evidence Direct Evidence
Physical objects, materials, traces of physical activity Direct Evidence If believed by jury, directly proves a fact Eyewitness accounts, videotaped documentation Circumstantial Evidence Requires interpretation or inference to reach factual conclusion Probative Value The degree to which evidence is useful in proving a disputed fact

18 Witness Testimony Testimony Perjury
Oral evidence offered by a sworn witness on the witness stand during a criminal trial Under oath or affirmation Perjury Unlawful, intentional lying under oath or affirmation to give truthful testimony on a relevant matter Special concerns for children as witnesses?

19 The Hearsay Rule Hearsay Exceptions include…
Testimony that is not based on the personal knowledge of a witness Cannot be used in American courtrooms Exceptions include… Spontaneous Statements Dying Declarations

20 Closing Arguments Closing argument = Oral summation of a case presented by the Prosecution or Defense in a criminal trial Provides a review and analysis of the evidence Final attempt to persuade the jury to draw a conclusion favorable to the presenter

21 The Judge’s Instructions to the Jury
The judge charges the jury to retire and reach a verdict The judge instructs the jury regarding… Objectivity Statutory elements of the charges Burden of proof “Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”

22 Jury Deliberation and the Verdict
Process of evaluating evidence presented at trial in order to reach a decision Verdict The decision of the jury in a jury trial or of a judge in a non-jury trial If verdict is “guilty”, sentencing will generally take place at a separate hearing

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