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Indictment (in-DITE- ment ): a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime PowerPoint Presentation
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Indictment (in-DITE- ment ): a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime

Indictment (in-DITE- ment ): a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime

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Indictment (in-DITE- ment ): a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime

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  1. Indictment (in-DITE-ment): a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime • A short, plain statement of the time, place & manner in which the defendant is alleged to have commit the crime • Each crime a person is accused of committing is described in a separate count

  2. Whether or not to indict an individual suspected of a crime is decided in one of two ways: Grand Jury: • A group of jurors (often between 16 to 23) who evaluate the evidence of the prosecution • Hears prosecution evidence ONLY • No defense testimony at this time • Meets in secret Accusation by an Information • A process to replace a Grand Jury (to save strain on the jury system) • A judge is presented with the prosecution’s evidence and the judge decides if it is good enough to justify a trial • Faster, cheaper

  3. Jury Selection: Voir Dire • A preliminary examination to determine the competency of a witness or juror • In order for the lawyers for both sides to decide whether someone is suitable for a jury, the lawyers must learn as much as the realistically can about the potential jurors • This information gathering process is called “voir dire” (French; literally “to see, to say”) • Process is done through written questionnaires and oral interviews

  4. Rejection of potential jurors Challenge for Cause • Lawyers for either side must cite specific evidence that leads them to conclude that a potential juror cannot be impartial in the case • Unlimited number of these allowed for either side Peremptory Challenge • Lawyers have a guess or feeling that a potential juror will not be impartial • No evidence needs to be cited in these cases • Each side is given a limited number of these to use, so they must be more cautious about who they reject on this basis