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Criminal trial process - Essay Example

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In principle, the statements made become the framework of the respective sides. The statements of the lawyers from each side though are not to be considered as…
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Criminal trial process
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The Criminal Trial Process A criminal trial process can be divided into five major phases. The details and options in each phase are as follows: Phase 1: Choice between Judge or Jury Trial and Jury Selection
a) A choice is to be made whether to have a judge or jury trial. Provided with the right to do so, the defense would often choose a jury trial.
b) The jury would consist of 12 members if the criminal case is serious and as less as six if it is not.
c) The jury selection process is conducted with the participation of the defense and prosecution panels. Voir dire, the question and answer process used for the selection takes effect.
d) Motions in limine are forwarded to the court. These are requests from the opposing panels to include or exclude evidences.
Phase 2: Opening Statements
a) It is in this stage that the prosecution and defense present their cases in front of the judge and the jury. In principle, the statements made become the framework of the respective sides. The statements of the lawyers from each side though are not to be considered as evidences
Phase 3: Presentation of Evidence and Trial Proper
a) The prosecution case-in-chief is the where the prosecution panel expresses its principal case. It is here that the prosecution witnesses are directly examined by the prosecutors.
b) Cross-examination by the defense on the prosecution witness is carried out.
c) The option to redirect follows, in which the prosecutors may examine again its witnesses.
d) The prosecution rests its case.
e) The defense panel may make a motion to dismiss. This is an option in which the defense, finding the evidence presented by the prosecutor inadequate would move to have the charges dismissed. It is usually the judge’s discretion whether to grant or to deny the motion to dismiss.
f) Defense case-in-chief follows in which it is the turn of the defense lawyers to examine its own witnesses.
g) The defense witnesses would be cross-examined by the prosecutors
h) The defense panel has the option to redirect or re-examine its own witnesses.
i) The defense rests its case.
j) Rebuttal by the prosecution follows; a process in which the case of the defense is refuted. New evidence by the prosecution may be presented in support of its rebuttal (Gaines and Miller 2011, p. 239)
k) Jury instructions are formulated resulting from the meeting participated by the judge and the contending panels.
Phase 4: Closing Arguments
a) The prosecutor speaks first to present again his case and refuting that of the defense in an effort to convince the jury.
b) The defense takes his turn in presenting also its case and rebutting that of the prosecution also convince the jury.
Phase 5: Jury Deliberations and Decision
a) The judge provides the jury with the final instructions and reminds them regarding the “principles of law that ought to guide and control the decision on the defendant’s innocence or guilt” ( Siegel 2011, p. 609).
b) The jury is allowed to leave the courtroom for their secret deliberation.
c) Once a verdict is reached, the jury foreman tells the deputy sheriff that they already have one.
d) With the jury back in the courtroom, the decision is then read to the parties involved and everyone present.
List of References
Gaines, L., and Miller, R. (2011). Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
Siegel, L. (2011). Criminology 11th Edition. Florence, KY: Wadsworth Publishing. Read More
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