Chapter 14 Powerpoint - McCook Public Schools

Criminal Justice Process:
The Trial
Chapter 14
Street Law Text
pp. 166-172
• Due Process- All citizens are entitled to a fair
hearing or trial by the 5th & 14th Amendments
Right to Trial By Jury
• The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both
state and federal courts
• Most cases though do not have a jury, either because of the
seriousness of the crime, or by the defendant waving- giving up
their right to trial by jury in favor of a “bench” trial
• Juries, when used, are selected by voter registration/drivers
registrations/state ID’s [in Nebraska]
• Voir Dire- Questioning of potential
jurors– usually for bias in a case
• For Cause Challenge- Removal
because of bias or another factor
• Peremptory Challenge- Removal
because of no specific reason
Right to a Speedy and Public Trial
• The 6th Amendment provides the right to a Speedy and Public Trial,
the most difficult of these two guarantees is the speedy part, what
is speedy? No one really knows, but courts have found that a
“reasonable” amount of time must be allowed for both sides to
prepare a case
• The public part is easier, all trials are open unless a closed trial is
requested and granted, except all juvenile trials are usually closed
Right to Compulsory Process and to Confront Witnesses
• Defendants have the right to Subpoena- [court order to appear and testify]
witnesses to testify in court
• Defendants also have the right to face their accuser[s] and to cross examine
them. There are limits in place to protect some witnesses, like children.
• A defendant does have the right to be at their own trial but can lose that
privilege if they are disruptive to the court, in some instances they can be
removed or even bound and gagged.
• Contempt of Court- An act to embarrass, hinder, obstruct, or disrupt court
Freedom from Self-Incrimination
• You can not be forced to testify against yourself, is a right
granted by the 5th Amendment, it applies to all
defendants and if a defendant uses their 5th Amendment
rights the prosecution can not make any comments to a
judge of jury speculating why the 5th Amendment has
been invoked
• Immunity-Freedom from; protection from, being sued or
prosecuted, in exchange for testimony
– If a person is granted immunity, they must answer all questions, the 5th
Amendment does not apply, because they have waived that right
Right to an Attorney
• The 6th Amendment provides that “In all criminal cases, the
accused shall enjoy the right to… have the assistance of counsel
for his defense”
• This applied to federal cases only until 1963 Gideon v. Wainwright when the
Supreme Court applied it to states as well, then in 1972 it included anytime
a defendant might be sentenced to incarceration. [felony or misdemeanor]
• Indigent- Without financial means [poor] This is the standard in
deciding if the court appoints and attorney or if the defendant
must pay for their own
• Many people argue that appointed attorneys do not represent
their clients as well as privately hired attorneys because of the
difference in pay… usually appointed attorney’s [paid by the
state] are paid much less than privately hired attorneys
Criminal Appeals
• If a “not guilty” verdict is handed down by a jury, the state
cannot appeal because of Double Jeopardy- A defendant
cannot be tried for a second time for the “same” crime [5th
• If there is a “guilty” verdict then sentencing follows [which
is discussed in Chapter 15], but also there is the possibility
of appeals
• The defendant [through their attorney] can ask that the
verdict be overturned by the judge or to declare a Mistriala retrial because of a mistake made during the initial trial–
does not mean “not guilty”, just simply that there will be
another trial. The defendant may also ask to appeal to a
higher court
• Appeals Courts determine questions of law while Trial
courts determine questions of fact “guilt or innocence”
• So an Appellant/Petitioner- Person appealing a case
to a higher court, must prove an “error of law” by the
lower [trial] court. Most times an Appeals Court will
uphold the lower courts ruling, unless there is a
substantial “error of law”. The Supreme Court of the
United States is the highest Appeals Court.
• A defendant may also ask for a Writ- Order from a
higher court [or Judge] to a lower court or a
government official
• An example would include a “Writ” to examine DNA evidence
that was not available at the time of conviction
• Most known “Writ” is the Writ of Habeas Corpus- which means
to “Produce the body” and claims the defendant is being held
illegally and requests release It forces law enforcement to appear
before a Judge with the defendant and explain the charges
against that defendant

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