Criminal Trial Process
Criminal Trial Process is an incredibly diverse topic and often a student writing a research paper needs help with narrowing it down. Our writers suggest you narrow it by beginning with discussing the four main players in a criminal trial- the Judge, the Jury, the Prosecutors and the Defense.
Since the criminal trial process and the criminal justice system is an adversarial one, the prosecution will attempt to do anything in their power to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime. The defense's job is to do the following:
- The defense's role is to poke holes into the prosecutor's case.
- The defence also attempts to raise the specter of reasonable doubt with the jury.
- The defense doesn't actually have to say anything or put on a witness, as there is always a presumption of innocence.
The judge's role is to maintain order, provide guidance, and support to the jury. Sometime when it is a bench trial, the judge acts as jury as well. Criminal Trial Process research papers have been written by criminal justice experts. We can produce a custom written project following your guidelines.
Jury Selection Process
Jury selection is often a long drawn out process because prospective jurors may be excluded because each side wants a jury of peers who will be more amenable to each side's arguments.
After the jury is seated, the Prosecutors and the Defense lawyers make opening statements that spell out what each side of the case is going to show.
Then the jury gets to hear from the witnesses. Until the witness appears, he or she is kept out of the courtroom so no undue influence occurs. Each witness is called and questioned by the prosecution. The defense has the right and obligation to cross examine witnesses at this time. When the witness is called by either side, it is direct witness, then cross, then redirect. Each side will either try to prove the witness is credible or discredit what the other one says. The cases may go on for days. Witness lists are presented to the court so the Judge and lawyers know who is being called.
After each side rests, Closing arguments are delivered to the jury. This is the last ditch effort on both sides to influence how the jury will interpret the evidence. The Judge instructs the jury as to the charges against the defendant, the prosecution's burden of proof, reasonable doubt and so on. After the jury is instructed, they go to the jury room and deliberate all the evidence, while the lawyers, defendant, and all interested parties wait.
In criminal trials, the jury is told to bring back a verdict of guilty or not guilty. There may be a penalty phase after a guilty verdict and that would mean more witnesses to provide mitigating factors for the defense before sentencing. If a defendant is found not guilty, he or she is free and because of the United States Constitution, may not be tried for the same crime again - known as double jeopardy. If guilty, he or she has the right to appeal the verdict.