14. Criminal Justice Process

 What
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)
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
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
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
 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
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.
 6th
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
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?
 “You
have the right to an attorney. If you cannot
afford one, one will be provided for you by the
 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
 Some
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
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
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
 WRIT: an
order from the higher court to
either a lower court or to a government
 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)
 Defenses
 No Crime Committed, Did Not Commit the Crime,
Excusable, Not Criminally Responsible
 The
Arrest, Search & Seizure, Interrogation
 Proceedings
Before Trial
 Booking, Bail, Information, Grand Jury, Pleas, Pretrial
Motions, Plea Bargaining
 The
 Speedy & Fair Trial, Witnesses, Against SelfIncrimination