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Trial Analysis

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Submitted By cdalli29
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The procedures that are followed in the criminal trials today have been carefully fine tuned throughout history. The consistent set of procedures is followed by both the federal and state governments and is designed to provide a fair trial for the defendant. Procedure begins with the opening statements and ends with a verdict. In this paper, those procedures and all the ones that fall in between will be discussed.
Opening statements begins a trial and are given to the jury and judge by attorneys for both sides of the case. Starting with the prosecuting attorney, an explanation of the case as well as a summary of what the attorney is asking for the jury to decide is given. Once the prosecution has made their statement, the defense attorney is permitted to give their opening statement, however the defense attorney may request to hold their opening statement until the beginning of the defense case.
Once the opening statement has been made, the prosecution begins to present their case. This is where the prosecution calls forth any witnesses they may have to provide testimony for the case. Anyone involved in the arrest, interrogation, or investigation of the crime as well as any witnesses to the crime, may be called to testify. Throughout the testimonies evidence is permitted to be admitted to the court to further help the case. The defense is the allowed to cross examine each witness so that they may try to discredit any statements given that may help to prove the prosecution’s case.
After the prosecution has presented its case, the defense attorney may now begin to present their case to the judge and jury. Just like the prosecution, the defense brings in any witnesses or experts to provide testimony along with evidence that will help to prove their case. Once the defense has

presented their case the prosecution is given the chance to cross examine the witnesses to try and discredit testimony.
Both cases have now been presented to the judge and jury and if the judge sees it fit a redirection and recall is issued. This allows for either counsel to recall a witness after cross examination for further questioning. This can be used to verify previous testimony that had been given or to persist for more information that could be critical to either case that had not yet been divulged.
When there are no more questions and no further evidence to be submitted by either counsel, closing arguments are given. Again, the prosecution goes first summarizing their case and reminding the judge and jury of all the important facts and evidence that have been brought to their attention during the trial. This is the last chance the counsel is given to persuade the jury to agree with their case. After the prosecution gives their closing statements the defense follows with the same procedure.
The next step in the trial is when the judge gives detailed instructions to the jury in regards to the case and what they should be deciding. This is called the charge to the jury. The jury is then dismissed from the court room and escorted to a private area where they review and discuss the case and eventually come to a conclusion. When deliberation is complete the court reconvenes and the jury presents the judge and counsel with their verdict. Judgment is then made by the court. The court can agree with the verdict, dismiss the case, or permit a new trial. If the court concurs with the jury then sentencing is given and the defendant escorted out of the court or the judge will set another date for sentencing and the court is dismissed. If the defense counsel so chooses they may file for an appeal.

Criminal trials are very complex and it is important that no steps are missed and that every attention to detail is made. Counsel should be sure that they are clear and concise in explaining the trial and the procedures it will follow to their client so that everyone involved is aware of what is going on in each step. Pretrial and post trials are also very important in the outcome of a criminal trial and should not be taken lightly.…...

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