Monday, October 29, 2012
The fourth stage in criminal court is the trial. This is the most challenging and crucial part of criminal court proceedings. The trial stage is where the prosecution will try to prove the defendant’s guilt. On the other side, the defense will attempt to prove the defendants innocence. Trials will often be held in front of a jury. However if both sides agree, a bench trial may be used. A bench trial is where there is no jury; the judge will therefore act as the jury.
At the start of the trial, the prosecution will give its opening statement. This will generally outline all the evidence, and show the jury how the prosecution will prove the defendant’s guilt. The defense may or may not make an opening statement. The defense's opening statement could be held until the prosecution proves its case or it will be given right after the prosecutions.
Next the "case-in-chief" will occur. This is where the prosecution will first call witnesses to the stand, and will present its evidence to the jury. After the prosecution rests, the defense may cross examine the prosecution's witnesses. After the defense rests, the prosecution can reexamine their witnesses in order to recover from the defense's testimony.
Due to the long nature of the trial procedure, I will be continuing the trial segment next week. Have a great week, see you next time on Men in Blue.