14. Criminal Justice Process
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is a “FAIR TRIAL?” What is an “UNFAIR TRIAL?” Why
is a fair trial to important to our judicial system? Why is a fair trial so important to you as a citizen of this country?
Explain what the “EXCLUSIONARY RULE” is and how it impacts how the police do their job.
What is “BAIL”? What are the requirements for paying bail? What happens if a suspect skips bail?
What are your rights when it comes to a fair trial? Why are these rights SO IMPORTANT?
Our government can imprison a person convicted of a crime. What is the purpose of our correctional system? (punishment/reform v. revenge)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Right to Trial by Jury Right to a Speedy and Public Trial Right to Compulsory Process and to Confront Witnesses Freedom from Self-Incrimination Right to an Attorney Criminal Appeals
is the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? Why might someone choose not to have a jury trial? Do you think jury verdicts should have to be unanimous? WHY or WHY NOT? DO you think juries should deliberate and come to a conclusion in private, or should this proceeding be televised and made public? Explain
6th Amendment guarantees a trial by jury (federal and state) Jury Trials not required for certain minor offenses (those punishable by less than one year) Defendants can “WAIVE” or give up their right to trial by jury Juries may up from general population of the community • Called randomly from tax roll, drivers license or voter registration list • VOIR DIRE – the process of selecting jurors from the random gathering Lawyers for prosecution and defense can question to try to eliminate any with a bias from serving on the jury “FOR CAUSE CHALLENGE” – reject for cause “PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE” – a small number of rejections for no particular reason Cannot exclude jurors because of their race, gender, or national origin
Jurors and juries have a great deal of power in the US legal system. Some see the jury box, like the ballot box, as an essential element of democracy and as a check on the government. Juries determine the facts provided at trial and apply the law based on instructions from the judge. However, there is a long history in the US of juries disregarding the law and the judges’ instructions when they believe they must do so in the interest of justice. This disregard is called JURY NULLIFICATION. For example, during the 19th century, some juries refused to convict people who hid runaway slave, even though it was illegal to do so at that time. Today, juries sometimes refuse to convict when they believe a law is unfair or is being unfairly enforced. While legal scholars acknowledge the history of jury nullification in the US, some experts believe that expended use of this extraordinary power could lead to anarchy or an undermining of the rule of law. Others argue that it is an effective way for citizens in a democracy to check government abuse of power.
Amendment guarantees all trials are to be “SPEEDY” and “PUBLIC”
SPEEDY – Federal and State governments have set specific time frames for how soon a trial must occur
Washington – 90 days or first available court date Considered part of “DUE PROCESS” Case may be dismissed if not within time limit Defendant can waive right to a speed trial Prosecution may be granted extension, but only if new evidence comes up (reason for delay, is the defendant out on bail, reason for delay considered)
PUBLIC – Trial will be help in view of the public. Rare occasion, trial may be closed (child abuse) Process open so no ‘show trial’ or ‘railroading’ can occur
• Subpoena – a court order requiring a witness to appear and
Confront Witnesses • Right to confront (face to face) witnesses against them * Ask questions (cross examine) under oath • Right to be present during case Unless unruly or disruptive (can be cited for “contempt of court”) • May be altered in some cases Child Abuse cases When testifying my endanger their lives
Crawford and his wife went to a man’s apartment, where a fight broke out between Crawford and the man. The man was stabbed during the fight, after which he called the police. Crawford was arrested later that night. The police interrogated him and his wife separately. Crawford claimed that the man had attempted to rape his wife and that he acted in self-defense. His wife’s story, which the police taperecorded, did not match his. Crawford was eventually tried and convicted of attempted murder. State law where he lived did not allow one spouse to testify in a criminal case against the other without the spouse’s consent. Crawford did not agree to have his wife testify at his trial. However, the prosecutor played a tape-recording of what she told police. ON appeal, Crawford argued that use of this tape recording violated his 6th Amendment right to confront a witness against him because there was no way to cross-examine the recording.
What are the strongest arguments for Crawford?
What are the strongest arguments for the state?
How should this case be decided?
5th Amendment guarantees right against selfincrimination You cannot be forced to say something that can be used against you in a criminal trial Defense attorneys often counsel their clients to “plea the 5th” and not take the stand Prosecutors cannot infer this means they are guilty “IMMUNITY” can be granted. This waives prosecution for anything they may say on the witness stand. It cannot be used against them. If this is granted, the witness can be compelled to testify
Suppose you are a defense attorney. What are the advantages and disadvantages to having a criminal defendant testify at trial? If you were a member of the jury in a criminal trial, what would you think if the defendant refused to testify? Would you be affected by the judge’s instruction not to draw any conclusion from this? If a defendant is forced to stand in a lineup, give a handwriting samplye or take an alcohol breath or urine test, does this violate the privilege against selfincrimination? Do you think that US law should be changed so that defendants are required to testify in criminal cases? Explain
have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you by the state.” US Supreme Court ruled that an attorney must be appointed for those without financial means Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) extended to the states 1972 – Supreme Court extended by requiring that no imprisonment may occur, even in misdemeanor cases, unless the accused is given an opportunity of an attorney Public Defenders or private attorneys will be assigned
criticize saying the quality of representation is poor
Assume a defendant wants to handle his or her own defense. Should this be allowed? Do you think this is a good idea? Assume a lawyer knows that his or her client is guilty. Is it right for the lawyer to try to convince the jury the person is not guilty? Explain
If the jury returns a verdict of “Not Guilty,” that normally is the end of the case – the state cannot appeal “Double Jeopardy” means the state cannot retry a person for the same offense If the jury returns a verdict of “Guilty,” the defendant has several options if they believe they have been wrongfully convicted Mistrial – Judge can be asked to set aside the jury verdict (rarely successful) Appeal the ruling – the defendant can claim that his/her 4th, 5th or 6th Amendment rights have been violated – that his/her right to a fair trial was denied
This is based on serious errors in how the law was applied (legal errors) IE – not read their rights IE – illegal search IE – a witness/evidence not allowed to be presented
order from the higher court to either a lower court or to a government official A Writ of Habeas Corpus claims that a defendant is being held illegally and requests release Can be filed in state or federal court to appeal alleged state/federal law violations. It gives prisons a way to ask for relief from confinement (does not mean the court will grant the release)
No Crime Committed, Did Not Commit the Crime, Excusable, Not Criminally Responsible The
Arrest, Search & Seizure, Interrogation
Booking, Bail, Information, Grand Jury, Pleas, Pretrial Motions, Plea Bargaining The
Speedy & Fair Trial, Witnesses, Against SelfIncrimination