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CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS: THE TRIAL PROCESS

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  1. CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS: THE TRIAL PROCESS

  2. FEBRUARY 4, 2011 Objective – Students will understand the fundamental steps in selecting a jury. Drill – To whom does due process apply? Homework – Pages 166-167, ex. 14.1

  3. DUE PROCESS OF LAW • Accused have the right to: • Jury trial in public without undue delay • To be informed of their rights • To be informed of the charges against them • To confront and cross-examine witnesses • To compel witnesses to testify on their behave • Refuse to testify against themselves • To be represented by an attorney • These rights are the essence of due process of law and make up a fair trial.

  4. RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY • Jury panels are a general representation of the community • Names are selected from voter registration, tax lists, or drivers license rolls • Federal courts as well as many states courts use 12-person juries • States can be as small as 6 • Most states require an unanimous verdict • Louisiana and Oregon do not

  5. RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY • The jury is chosen through Voir Dire • Lawyers must prepare an ideal and a worst juror profile. • A short written questionnaire is often used to obtain vital information • Look for potential enemies and friends among the jury pool

  6. RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY • No one can be excluded from the jury pool • Peremptory Challenges • Both the prosecution and defense during jury selection can dismiss people they feel might be biased without giving any reason. • Attorneys may not exclude potential jurors from serving because of race or gender.

  7. RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY • Batson v. Kentucky (1985) • Prosecutor used peremptory challenges to exclude four black from jury pool to create an all white jury. • If a defendant can make a case of racial bias then the prosecutor must prove they had race neutral reason for dismissal. • The defendant may give a counterargument but the judge decides validity of peremptory exclusion

  8. FEBRUARY 7, 2011 • Objective - The students will understand the fundamental reasons for a speedy trial. • Drill • What is the essential purpose of Voir Dire? • In Class • Review Homework • Trial Notes Continued (Jury Trial and Speedy Trial) • Plea Bargain Case • Homework • Page 168 ex 14.3

  9. HOMEWORK REVIEW • Why is the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? • To protect U.S. citizens from arbitrary rule.

  10. HOMEWORK REVIEW • Do you think verdicts should be unanimous? Why or Why not? • No – Clear majority should suffice such as in Supreme Court cases. • Guilty people may walk • Yes – less than unanimous means lower burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. • Innocent people may be convicted

  11. RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY • In 2009, only 5.2% of criminal cases resulted in trial. • A jury is not always required or used. • Not required for certain minor offenses (less than 6 months jail time) • Defendants may waive their right to a trial by jury and have their case heard by a judge (a bench trial).

  12. PLEA BARGAIN CASE - Background Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Raven’s linebacker Ray Lewis and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Eleven days after Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, the three were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges.

  13. PLEA BARGAIN CASE • Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis at his 2000 trial for murder and aggravated assault. • Read the article • Answer questions

  14. PLEA BARGAIN CASE • Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of Justice. • In exchange, the GA District Attorney dropped murder and aggravated assault charges. • Lewis agreed to testify against two other defendants, receive 12 months’ probation, and pay court costs.

  15. RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY • Most criminal cases end in plea bargain • In 2009, 87.9% of criminal cases ended in a plea bargain • Plea bargains are offered by the prosecutor • Defendant pleas guilty to lesser charge • Defendant pleas to original criminal charge with lighter sentence • The judge may accept or deny the agreement

  16. FEBRUARY 8, 2011 • Objective – The students will understand the elements of a fair trial such as the right to a speedy trial and to confront witnesses. • Drill – Why would a defendant prefer a bench trial oppose to a jury trial? • In Class • Review Homework • Continue Trial Notes (Speedy Trial) • Review Confrontation Article • Homework • Pages 169-171 Ex 14.5

  17. HOMEWORK REVIEW • What are some reasons for and against bringing a defendant to trial within a short time after arrest? • For • Events are fresh in witnesses mind • An innocent defendant may spend time in jail • Proves to society there are consequences for criminal behavior • Against • Need sufficient time to prepare for the case • Allow time for jury pool to “cool off”

  18. RIGHT TO A SPEEDY PUBLIC TRIAL • “Justice delayed is justice denied.” • The Constitution does not define “speedy”. • The federal government and many states have set time limits within which a case must be brought to trial.

  19. RIGHT TO A SPEEDY PUBLIC TRIAL • Barker v. Wingo (1972) • Barker had been held in prison for 5 years awaiting trial for murder • Establishes four general guidelines to test: • Length of delay • Prosecution’s reason • Did the defendant claimed the right to a speedy trial • Actual harm came from the delay • Speedy Trial Act (1974) – A trial must occur within 100 days of arrest

  20. RIGHT TO A SPEEDY PUBLIC TRIAL • Many waive their right to a speedy trial. • Unavailable • Illness • Time to prepare case • Courts will decide validity of delay as well as where the defendant will spend the duration.

  21. RIGHT TO COMPULSORY PROCESS • Defendants have the right to compulsory process of obtaining witnesses. • A defendant can get a subpoena, a court order, requiring a witness to appear in court to testify.

  22. RIGHT TO CONFRONT WITNESSES • 6th Amendment allows the accused to confront the witnesses against them face-to-face. • The defendant may ask witnesses questions via cross-examination • Confrontation may be modified for children witnesses, especially abuse cases • Many courts use closed-circuit television cameras

  23. RIGHT TO CONFRONT WITNESSES • Defendant has right to be in courtroom unless they become disorderly or disruptive. • Defendant may be removed and cited from contempt of court • In extreme circumstances the defendant may be bound and gagged

  24. CONFRONTING WITNESSES ARTICLE • Read the article • Discuss questions • Watch short video clip • http://www.king5.com/news/local/Washington-bill-would-shield-rape-victims-court-testimony-113428044.html

  25. FEBRUARY 9, 2011 • Objective – The students will understand the elements of a fair trial such as the right to an attorney. • Drill • As a defendant, what are the reasons for and against a speedy trial? • In Class • Review Homework • Continue Trial Notes (Self-incrimination/Attorney) • Self-incrimination Article • Homework • Trial Review

  26. HOMEWORK REVIEW • Suppose you are a defense attorney. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a criminal defendant testify at trial? • Pros • A defendant who is articulate, presentable, and without prior convictions can be very convincing • Cons • A defendant without these qualities my be negative. • Allow introduction of prior convictions • Prior statements may be inconsistent

  27. HOMEWORK REVIEW • If you were a member of the jury in a criminal trial, what would you think if the defendant refused to testify? • Evidence of guilt? • Would you be affected by the judge’s instruction not to draw any conclusion from this? • May be grounds for a mistrial

  28. HOMEWORK REVIEW • Do you think that U.S. law should be changed so that defendants are required to testify in criminal cases? • Would take a constitutional amendment

  29. HOMEWORK REVIEW • If a defendant is forced to stand in a lineup, give a handwriting sample, or take an alcohol breath or urine test, does this violate the privilege against self-incrimination? • Protection from self incrimination applies to testimonial evidence not physical • In a lineup a defendant may be asked to repeat some words to facilitate the identification • Cannot be forced to take a lie detector

  30. FREEDOM FROM SELF-INCRIMINATION • 5th Amendment – you cannot be forced to testify against yourself in a criminal trial. • An attorney may not direct jury’s attention to defendant refusing to testify. • Many defense attorneys recommend that their clients do not take the stand at all

  31. FREEDOM FROM SELF-INCRIMINATION • When granted immunity a witness cannot be prosecuted based on any information provided in a testimony. • A witness must answer all questions including those that are incriminating. • Immunity is often used to force people to testify against codefendants.

  32. FREEDOM FROM SELF-INCRIMINATION • Read article • Answer questions • Discuss

  33. FEBRUARY 10, 2011 • Objective - Students will review the elements that make up a fair trial to prepare for tomorrows test. • Drill 7 – How does an attorney assist the defendant? • In Class • Finish Notes • Homework • Finish Review • Prepare for test

  34. RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY How does an attorney assist the defendant? • Advising the defendant their rights and explaining the different stages of the trial • Ensuring that the defendant's rights aren’t violated through law enforcement conduct or in court proceedings • Negotiating a plea bargain on the defendant's behalf

  35. RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY • All criminal defendants have the right to an attorney to ensure fair trial • State is represented by lawyer, therefore defendant should be as well. • Originally, only for those who could afford one

  36. RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY • A defendant may hire a public attorney or have one appointed. • Public defender’s office is supported by the government. • Typically public defenders: • Represent economically disadvantaged people in criminal cases • Are paid less than private lawyers.

  37. RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY • Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) • Gideon was charged with B&E and had insufficient funds to hire a lawyer. • He requested the court to appoint an attorney. • Court refused; Only obligated to appoint counsel to defendants in capital cases. • Gideon defended himself in the trial. • Convicted by a jury and the court sentenced him to five years in a state prison.

  38. SUPREME COURT DECISION • Court found that the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of counsel was essential to a fair trial. • Should be made applicable through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. • Justice Black called it an "obvious truth" that a fair trial for a poor defendant could not be guaranteed without the assistance of counsel.

  39. RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY • Strickland v. Washington(1983) • David Washington pleaded guilty to murder • His attorney did not seek out character witnesses or request a psychiatric evaluation. • Washington sentenced to death • Argued his Sixth Amendment right was violated because he had ineffective counsel at sentencing.

  40. SUPREME COURT DECISION • Court created a two-part test for establishing a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel: • counsel's performance must be deficient. • the deficient performance must have prejudiced the defense so as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial. • Defendant must show that there is a "reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result would have been different. "

  41. TRIAL CONCLUSIONS • Jury returns with “not guilty” verdict, normally ends the case • Jury returns with “guilty” verdict, sentencing will follow • If a defendant believes they have been wrongly convicted they may ask the judge to: • Overturn the jury’s verdict • Set aside the jury’s verdict, declare a mistrial, and ask for a new trial

  42. CRIMINAL APPEALS • A defendant may appeal to a high court. • May challenge the conviction or the sentencing. • An appeal must be filed shortly after judgment is entered. • To win an appeal, the petitioner must prove that there were serious errors of law made at the trial. • Appellate courts often defer to trial judge and are not eager to overturn a verdict.

  43. CRIMINAL APPEALS • A defendant may apply for a writ of habeas corpus. • Claims that a defendant is being held illegally and requests release. • Gives criminals the right to ask for relief from confinement. • Often used when an appeal could not be.