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Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

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  1. Chapter 8 Pretrial Procedures and the Criminal Trial

  2. Chapter 8 Objectives • Identify the steps involved in the pretrial criminal process. • List and briefly explain the benefits and problems with plea bargains. • Identify the basic protections enjoyed by criminal defendants in the United States. • Explain the Voir Dire process • Contrast challenges for cause and peremptory challenges during voir dire. • List the standard steps in a criminal jury trial. • Explain the difference between testimony and real evidence; between lay witnesses and expert witnesses; and between direct and circumstantial evidence.

  3. Supreme Court Due Process Decisions

  4. Right to reasonable bail • Not a right to bail, only reasonable bail if granted

  5. Bench Trial • When the accused waives the right to trial by jury (5% of all cases) • Judge assumes the role of the jury (fact finder) in addition to his/her other judicial functions • Legal arbiter • Pronouncement of sentence • No right to a bench trial, only a jury trial

  6. The Right to Confront Witnesses • Provides for a control over hearsay evidence and allows the veracity of witnesses to be challenged • Helps the accused in preparation of a defense to know who will present testimony for the state • Does not necessarily mean a face-to-face confrontation

  7. Right to a Jury Trial • Impartial Jury – Not a Jury of Peers • This right is guaranteed for all serious crime - not all crime • Constitution does not require a 12 person jury, smaller juries may be permitted to a minimum of six. • The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments do not mandate a unanimous verdict in all cases • Oregon has 12 jurors but only 10 have to agree for a verdict.

  8. Self Representation(ProSe Proceedings) • “The person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” • Also known as a “Pro Per” • Requires a competent, knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver of counsel • Requires the defendant to understand the charges Colin Ferguson

  9. Right to a Speedy Trial • Improve the credibility of the trial • Reduce defendant anxiety • Avoid pretrial publicity • Avoid adverse effects on the ability to present a defense Purposes for this guarantee include:

  10. Time Limits for Speedy Trials • Constitution does notspecify a time limit • Most states have adopted statutes which define reasonable limits • Federal Speedy Trial Act of 1974 • provides time limits for various stages of the adjudication process • provision for fining defense counsels causing delays

  11. What Is “Fundamental Fairness?” • Before an impartial judge and jury • In an environment of judicial restraint and orderliness • With fair decision making Basic ingredients of fairness include that a case be held:

  12. What Isn’t Fair? • Hostile courtroom crowd • Improper pressure on witnesses • Prejudicial behavior toward defendant • Defendant wearing prison clothing • Adverse pretrial publicity • Trial of 4 officers accused of beating Rodney King moved to Simi Valley (Ventura County Superior Court) due to pretrial publicity. (1992) • Cary Stayner trial for murdering 4 women in Yosemite was moved to San Jose (Santa Clara Superior Court). (1999)

  13. Jury Trials in America

  14. Jury Trials • Job is to try the facts • Size determined by law - normally 12 • Decision normally by unanimous vote • Proof beyond a reasonable doubt needed • Sometimes referred to as; • 12 licensed drivers who come together to determine the guilt of a defendant • 12 people who couldn’t find a way out of serving on a jury. • 12 people who must deicide which side has the best attorney.

  15. What Do We Know about Juries? • Jury trials are longer and slow down the process • Longer sentences are normally associated with jury trials rather than bench trials • Men are normally more dominant in jury deliberation

  16. Challenge for Cause • Selection of jurors is through a process called Voir Dire. • To determine if someone is unfit to serve • Prosecution & defense want someone who is sympathetic to their side of the case • Judge and both sides ask questions • Number of these challenges is unlimited

  17. Peremptory Challenges • Enable attorneys to excuse jurors for no particular reason or for undisclosed reasons • Number of challenges are limited • Can’t be used to eliminate jurors on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender

  18. What’s Known about Jury Voting? • 1/3 of all cases only require one vote • If a decision needs more than one vote, the decision of the majority of the first vote will likely end up being the decision on the last vote in most cases.

  19. Steps in a Jury Trial Click here for example of closing statements in OJ trial

  20. Criminal Evidence "Anything which is legally submitted to a competent tribunal as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged matter of fact under investigation before it“ • Direct evidence"That which (if true) proves the fact in dispute ... in the case of a is the result of personal knowledge derived through one or more of the five senses" • Indirect or circumstantial evidence"That which (if true) tends to establish an issue in dispute by proving another fact...[it] does not . . . conclusively establish that issue, but causes an inference or presumption of its existence"

  21. Criminal Evidence • Real or physical evidence"May include almost any (tangible) object...that is directly linked to crime charged and may be observed by a judge and /or jury"Circumstantial physical evidenceExample: Witness testimony that an accused was known to own a revolver of the same make and caliber of that used in the commission of a homicide.

  22. Criminal Evidence • Demonstrative Evidence • Critical pieces of evidence in the Simpson trial are a pair of bloody gloves. • The left-handed glove was found outside the residence of Nicole Brown Simpson, and the right-handed glove was recovered from O.J. Simpson's estate. • During the June 15, 1995 court session, Simpson put on the gloves and they appeared to be too small. • The prosecution contends that the gloves, once drenched in blood, have shrunk. • The defense believes that if the glove doesn't fit, Simpson is not the killer. Click on picture for video

  23. Criminal Evidence • Testimonial evidence"That which is supplied through the verbal testimony of a witness (or suspect)“Circumstantial testimonial evidenceExample: The perpetrator of a crime was observed wearing a red shirt with vertical blue stripes; the individual accused of the crime owns such a shirt.

  24. Instructions to the Jury • Judge’s responsibility • Provides jury with information about the law • elements of the crime • evidence required for proof • burden of proof required • Improper instructionsare often the basis foran appeal

  25. The Verdict • Guilty • judge will normally set a date for sentencing and ask for a presentence investigation report • Not guilty • defendant is free to leave • Hung jury • case may be retried • Innocent is not a verdict. • no one knows if a person is truly innocent, only that the state has not convinced a jury that a person is guilty.

  26. Evidentiary Standards

  27. Evidentiary Standards

  28. Sentencing • Normally after review of a Presentence Investigation Report in felony cases • Rules applying to discretionary decisions by judges regarding the kind and severity of sentence vary among jurisdictions • One of the most important and visible decisions by the judge

  29. Right to Appeal • Right to appeal is determined by law • An appeal waives the right against double jeopardy • Based upon some contended legal error • Court transcript serves as the basis for appellate review

  30. Chapter 8 Pretrial Procedures and the Criminal Trial