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CHAPTER 3. Using Evidence to Determine Guilt or Innocence. EVALUTION AND REVIEW OF EVIDENCE. THE RULES OF EVIDENCE ULTIMATELY DECIDE WHAT EVIDENCE WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE JUDGE AND JURY FOR EVALUATION AND WHAT EVIDENCE WILL NOT

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chapter 3
CHAPTER 3
  • Using Evidence to Determine Guilt or Innocence
evalution and review of evidence
EVALUTION AND REVIEW OF EVIDENCE
  • THE RULES OF EVIDENCE ULTIMATELY DECIDE WHAT EVIDENCE WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE JUDGE AND JURY FOR EVALUATION AND WHAT EVIDENCE WILL NOT
  • EVIDENCE MAY BE EVALUATED IN A VARIETY OF SETTINGS AT VARIOUS STAGES OF THE INVESTIGATORY AND CRIMINAL COURT PROCESS
  • THERE ARE MANY SETTINGS WHERE THE RULES OF EVIDENCE DO NOT APPLY
  • IN THE PROCESS OF REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE, WEAKER CASES ARE FILTERED OUT OF THE SYSTEM OR LESSER CHARGES ARE USED
goals of the criminal justice system
Goals of the Criminal Justice System
  • THE GENERAL RECOGNIZED OVERALL GOALS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM ARE:
    • TO DISCOURAGE AND TO DETER PEOPLE FROM COMMITTING CRIMES
    • TO PROTECT SOCIETY FROM DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL PEOPLE
    • TO PUNISH PEOPLE WHO HAVE COMMITTED CRIMES
    • TO REHABILITATE AND REFORM PEOPLE WHO HAVE COMMITTED CRIMES
the criminal court process
THE CRIMINAL COURT PROCESS
  • THE FILING OF ACRIMINAL COMPLAINTWITH A MAGISTRATE OR OTHER JUDICIAL OFFICIAL IS TYPICALLY HOW THE PROCESS BEGINS IN A MISDEMEANOR CASE
  • THE COMPLAINT CAN COME BEFORE OR AFTER THE DEFENDANT IS PLACED UNDER ARREST
slide5
THE MAGISTRATE DETERMINES ONLY IF PROBABLE CAUSE EXISTS TO BELIEVE THAT A CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED AND THAT THE NAMED DEFENDANT COMMITTED IT
  • THEINITIAL APPEARANCE(Arraignment)BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE IS THEN HELD AND THE CHARGES ARE READ TO THE DEFENDANT, A PLEA IS ENTERED AND BAIL IS SET
slide6
THE NEXT STEP WOULD BE THEPRELIMINARY HEARING, IF A FELONY IS CHARGED
  • THE CASE CAN COMMENCE BYTHE FILING OF ANINFORMATION
  • IN MANY STATES AND IN FEDERAL COURTS, THE INDICTMENT SYSTEM IS USED FOR FELONIES INSTEAD OF PUBLIC PROSECUTORS ISSUING CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS
  • AT THIS POINT THE JUDGE MAY DISMISS CHARGES IF THE PROSECUTION’S CASE IS WEAK
  • IF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE IS INTRODUCED TO SHOW PROBABLE CAUSE, THE DEFENDANT ISBOUND OVER FOR TRIAL
the grand jury
The Grand Jury
  • THEGRAND JURYISSUES ACRIMINAL INDICTMENT
  • THE DEFENDANT IS ARRAIGNED AFTER AND INDICTMENT OR INFORMATION HAS BEEN ISSUED
  • THE DEFEDANT ENTERS A PLEA AT THEARRAIGNMENTAND THE DEFENDANT IS BOUND OVER TO APPROPRIATE CRIMINAL COURT FOR TRIAL
pleas a defendant may enter to a criminal charge
PLEAS A DEFENDANT MAY ENTER TO A CRIMINAL CHARGE
  • THE FOLLOWING PLEAS ARE AVAILABLE TO DEFENDANTS:
    • NOT GUILTY
    • GUILTY,THIS MAY BE A REGULAR GUILTY PLEA OR AN ALFORD GUILTY PLEA IN STATES PERMITTING THE ALFORD PLEA
    • AN INSANITY PLEA (OR DEFENSE), USUALLY THIS PLEA IS NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF MENTAL DISEASE OR DEFECT
    • NO CONTEST (NOLO CONTENDERE),IF THE STATUTES OF THE STATE ALLOWS THE PLEA AND THE COURT APPROVES
    • STANDING MUTE OR REFUSING TO ENTER A PLEA,THIS HAS THE SAME EFFECT AS A “NOT GUILTY” PLEA.
the not guilty plea
THE NOT-GUILTY PLEA
  • IN ALL CRIMINAL CASES, THE DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY THROUGH THE USE OF EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES PRESENTED DURING A TRIAL
  • THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ALWAYS ON THE STATE OR GOVERNMENT
  • THE LEVEL OF PROOF REQUIRED IN CRIMINAL CASES IS PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT
  • THE ACCUSER MUST BEAR THE ENTIRE BURDEN OF PROVING THE CHARGE BY THE USE OF COMPETENT EVIDENCE
the not guilty plea cont
THE NOT-GUILTY PLEA (Cont.)
  • THE DEFENDANT CAN REMAIN SILENT AND INACTIVE, APPEAR AS A WITNESS ON HIS OR HER OWN BEHALF OR ACTIVELY ATTACK OR SEEK TO HINDER & MINIMIZE THE STATE’S EVIDENCE AND CASE
  • THE DEFENDANT CAN DENY PERFORMING THE ACTS CHARGED OR ASSERT AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
  • TO ASSERT AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE, THE DEFENDANT MUST COME FORWARD WITH EVIDENCE SHOWING A BASIS FOR IT
the guilty plea
THE GUILTY PLEA
  • SINCE THE DEFENDANT STANDS BEFORE THE COURT AS A WITNESS AGAINST HIMSELF IN ENTERING A GUILTY PLEA, THE ADMISSION OF GUILT CANNOT BE COMPELLED BUT MUS BE A VOLUNTARY EXPRESSION OF HIS OWN CHOICE
  • A DEFENDANT’S CONSENT TO JUDGEMENT WITHOUT TRIAL CONSTITUTES A WAIVER OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ATTENDING A TRIAL, THUS HIS CONSENT MUST BE MADE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE WAIVER OF THOSE RIGHTS
  • IT MUS BE SHOWN THAT A DEFENDANT ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA VOLUNTARILY AND INTELLIGENTLY
the guilty plea cont
THE GUILTY PLEA (Cont.)
  • THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED MUST CONVINCE THE TRIAL JUDGE THAT THE DEFENDANT DID IN FACT COMMIT THE CRIMINAL ACT OF WHISH HE/SHE IS CHARGED
  • THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PLEAD GUILTY
alford plea
ALFORD PLEA
  • THEALFORD GUILTY PLEAPERMITS A DEFENDANT TO ENTER A GUILTY PLEA WHILE AT THE SAME TIME PROTESTING HIS INNOCENCE
  • THE SENTENCE GIVEN WOULD BE THE SAME AS THAT GIVEN FOR A REGULAR GUILTY PLEA UNDER THE STATE SENTENCING GUIDELINES
the no contest or nolo contendere plea
THE NO CONTEST, OR NOLO CONTENDERE, PLEA
  • MOST STATES ALSO HAVE STATUTESPERMITTING THENO CONTEST, ORNOLO CONTENDERE, PLEA
  • THE PLEA MAY BE MADE ONLY WITH THE CONSENT OF THE TRIAL JUDGE
  • SOME STATES LIMIT THE PLEA TO MISDEMEANOR AND LOCAL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS
conditional guilty plea
CONDITIONAL GUILTY PLEA
  • PLEADING GUILTY IS NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AND A DEFENDANT MAY BE FORCED TO GO TO TRIAL
  • THE DEFENDANT ALSO DOES NOT HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HAVE HIS/HER GUILTY PLEA ACCEPTED BY THE COURT
  • UNDER THE LAWS OF ALL STATES, THE TRIAL JUDGE HAS THE DISCRETION TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT A PLEA OF GUILTY
  • DEFENDANTS WHO ENTER A GUILTY PLEA IN ANY FORM TO A CRIMINAL CHARGE LOSE MOST OF THEIR RIGHTS TO APPEAL!
conditional guilty plea cont
CONDITIONAL GUILTY PLEA (Cont.)
  • TO PRESERVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL ON ANY ISSUE BEFORE A TRIAL COURT, DEFENSE LAWYERS SOMETIMES USE THE CONDITIONAL GUILTY PLEA
  • THE DEFENDANT CAN ENTER A GUILTY PLEA CONDITIONED UPON THE DEFENDANT’S RIGHT TO APPEAL THE TRIAL JUDGE’S RULING
the insanity plea
THE INSANITY PLEA
  • IF AN INSANITY PLEA WERE ENTERED IN A MINOR CRIMINAL MATTER, THE STATE MIGHT AGREE AND JOIN THE DEFENDANT IN REQUESTING THE COURT TO FIND THE DEFENDANT LEGALLY INSANE
  • THE DEFENDANT WOULD VERY LIKELY THEN BE HELD FOR MENTAL OBSERVATIONS AND TREATMENT FOR A MUCH LONGER PERIOD THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CASE HAD HE BEEN CONVICTED OF THE CRIME CHARGED
  • THE INSANTIY PLEA IS USED BY DEFENDANTS PRIMARILY IN MURDER CASES, FOR WHICH SENTENCES ARE SEVERE
the insanity plea cont
THE INSANITY PLEA (Cont.)
  • THE TRIAL WOULD THEN BE BIFURCATED, WITH THE FIRST PART OF THE TRIAL DETERMINING GUILT OR INNOCENCE OF THE CHARGE AND THE SECOND PART DETERMINING WHETHER THE DEFENDANT WAS LEGALLY INSANE WHEN THE CRIMINAL ACT WAS COMMITTED
  • MOST STATES PLACE THE BURDEN ON A DEFENDANT USING THE INSANITY PLEA TO COME FORWARD WITH EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT HE/SHE WAS SO MENTALLY DISEASED OR DEFECTIVE THAT HE/SHE WAS UNABLE TO FORMULATE THE MENTAL INTENT TO COMMIT THE CRIME CHARGED
plea bargaining or sentence bargaining
PLEA BARGAINING OR SENTENCE BARGAINING
  • PLEA BARGAININGIS WHEN A DEFENDANT AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY IN RETURN FOR THE DROPPING OF ONE OR MORE OF THE CHARGES
  • AGREEMENTS MADE ON THE SENTENCE A DEFENDANT WILL RECEIVE ARE KNOWN AS SENTENCE BARGAINS
  • ALL SENTENCE OR PLEA BARGAINS ARE SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE TRIAL JUDGE
plea bargaining or sentence bargaining cont
PLEA BARGAINING OR SENTENCE BARGAINING (Cont.)
  • THE MAIN DANGERS IN THE PRESENT SYSTEM OF NONTRIAL DISPOSITIONS LIE IN THE FACT THAT IT IS SO INFORMAL AND INVISIBLE THAT IT GIVES RISE TO FEARS THAT IT DOES NOT OPERATE FAIRLY OR THAT IT DOES NOT ACCURATELY IDENTIFY THOS WHO SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AND WHAT DISPOSITION SHOULD BE MADE IN THEIR CASES
  • THERE ARE DISTURBING OPPORTUNITIES FOR COERCION AND OVER REACHING, AS WELL AS FOR UNDUE LENIENCY
  • THE VERY INFORMALITY AND FLEXIBILITY OF THE PROCEDURES ARE SOURCES OF POTENTIAL USEFULNESS AND OF ABUSE
an offer to plead guilty cannot be used as evidence if the offer is later withdrawn
AN OFFER TO PLEAD GUILTY CANNOT BE USED AS EVIDENCE IF THE OFFER IS LATER WITHDRAWN
  • BY ADMITTING GUILT IN OPEN COURT, THE DEFENDANT ACKNOWLEDGES THE WRONGFUL CONDUCT, WHICH IS THEORETICALLY THE FIRST STEP IN REHABILITATION
  • TO ENCOURAGE GUILTY PLEAS THERE ARE SUCH RULES AS 410 OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE & RULE 11 (6) OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
the trial
THE TRIAL
  • ONLY ABOUT 8% OF CRIMINAL CASES IN THE UNITED STATES ACTUALLY GO TO TRIAL, ABOUT 20% OF THOSE ARE TRIED BEFORE A JUDGE AND 80% ARE TRIED BEFORE A JURY
  • PRIOR TO THE TRIAL,DISCOVERYIS UNDERTAKEN WHERE BOTH THE PROSECUTION AND THE DEFENSE GATHER EVIDENCE THROUGH FORMAL QUESTIONS PUT TO THE OTHER SIDE, DEPOSITIONS OF WITNESSES AND EXAMINATION OF DOCUMENTS & RECORDS
  • VARIOUSMOTIONSCAN BE FILED BY THE PARTIES AS A RESULT OF DISCOVERY
the trial cont
THE TRIAL (Cont.)
  • JURORS ARE SELECTED FROM THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH THE COURT SITS (THE VENUE) FROM LISTS MAINTAINED BY THE COURT.
  • JURORS ARE SUMMONED, SELECTED AND SUBPOENAS ARE ISSUED TO COMPEL WITNESSES TO ATTEND AND TESTIFY AT THE TRIAL
  • DEPENDING ON THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CRIME CHARGED AND STATE RULES, THE JURY MAY CONSIST OF 6 TO 12 PEOPLE
  • THE PROSECUTION PRESENTS EVIDENCE FIRSTAND MUST ESTABLISH APRIMA FACIE CASE
the trial cont24
THE TRIAL (Cont.)
  • IF THE JUDGE CONCLUDES THE EVIDENCE IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A REASONABLE JURY VERDICT OF GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, THE CASE IS DISMISSED
  • IF THE CASE IS NOT DISMISSED, THE DEFENDANT PRESENTS EVIDENCE TO EITHER CAST DOUBT ON THE PROSECUTION’S CASE OR TO PROVEAN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSEINCLUDING; INSANITY, IMMUNITY, ENTRAPMENT OR DOUBLE JEOPARDY
  • THE PROSECUTION MAY THEN OFFER REBUTTALEVIDENCE
the trial cont25
THE TRIAL (Cont.)
  • AFTER THE CLOSING ARGUMENTS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE JURY, THE TRIAL JUDGE ISSUES JURY INSTRUCTIONS
  • JURY DELIBERATIONS BEGIN
  • WITH A NOT GUILTY VERDICT, THE CASE IS OVER AND THE DEFENDANT IS DISCHARGED FROM CUSTODY
  • WITH A GUILTY VERDICT, THE DEFENDANT MAY FILE POSTTRIAL MOTIONS IN THE TRIAL COURT SUCH AS JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THEVERDICT (SOMETIMES CALLEDJUDGMENT NOV) OR MOTIONS FOR A NEW TRIAL
directed verdict
Directed Verdict
  • In some cases, where the prosecution has failed to present a prima facie case for jury consideration, the judge may order the entry of a verdict without allowing the jury to consider it.
  • In effect, the judge makes the decision as to the verdict
  • It can be initiated by the judge or by a motion by the attorneys.
  • If this occurs, it’s going to be a acquittal or “not guilty” verdict.
the trial cont27
THE TRIAL (Cont.)
  • IF THE DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS ARE OVERRULED, THE DEFENDANT MAY APPEAL THE CRIMINAL CONVICTION AND/OR THE SENTENCE IMPOSED
  • IN STATE CASES, THE DEFENDANT’S INITIAL APPEALS GO THROUGH THE STATE APPELLATE PROCESS WHICH INCLUDS AN INTERMEDIATE COURT CALLED A COURT OF APPEALS AND A FINAL COURT CALLED A STATE SUPREME COURT
  • THE STATE APPELLATE COURT LOOKS AT THE EVIDENCE TO SEE IF IT SUPPORTS THE CONVICTION, DETERMINES IF THE JUDGE MADEANYREVERSIBLE ERRORSOR CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS
appeals
Appeals
  • AFTER EXHAUSTING HIS/HER STATE COURT APPEALS, THE DEFENDANT MAY SEEK REVIEW IN THE FEDERAL COURTS, BUT ONLY FOR VIOLATION OF FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
  • AWRIT OF CERTIORARIMAY BE FILED BY THE DEFENDANT IN THE U.S. SUPREME COURT OR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURTS
  • WRITS OF CERTIORARI ARE LIMITED TO A REVIEW OF STATE COURT RULINGS THAT VIOLATE THE DEFENDANT’S RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
slide29
HABEAS CORPUS WRITS, FILED WITH A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT, ASK THAT COURT TO DETERMINE IF THE DEFENDANT IS BEING HELD IN VIOLATION OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
  • THE DENIAL OF A WRIT IS ITSELF APPEALABLE BY THE DEFENDANT THROUGH THE FEDERAL APPELLATE SYSTEM
  • IS THE PROCESS EVER TRULY COMPLETE?
  • NO, FILING SUCCESSIVE HABEAS CORPUS WRITS IS POSSIBLE
  • EVEN THOUGH, IN THEORY, THE HABEAS CORPUS WRIT IS THE FINAL STOP IN THE CRIMINAL PROCESS