Essay on Courtroom Procedures and the Role of the Prosecution

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During a trial, there are many rules, procedures, and codes of conduct that must be observed. These are in place to allow a trial to proceed more efficiently and fairly for both the defense and prosecution. According to one author, “Police, prosecutors, and criminal court Judges see too much crime, so they tend to see crime everywhere. We need rules to control their conduct, Judges to carefully apply those rules, and other Judges to review those decisions (” Courtroom procedures are important because, without them, defendants and prosecution alike could be treated unfairly. These procedures give a standard format for trials that must be followed to ensure that all parties have an equal opportunity to present their …show more content…

Courtroom procedures begin before the day of the trial arrives. In a criminal case, the pre-trial proceedings vary based on the severity of the crime. With a simple misdemeanor case, which could only result in minor jail time or a fine, the pre-trial procedures are short and simple. Usually, the defendant is called to a pre-trial hearing where they are read the charges pressed against them and are asked to give either their plea of guilty and be given a sentencing date, not guilty and be given a trial date and bail amount, or to plead no contest (American Bar Association). However, in a felony case that could lead to a serious incarceration sentence, the procedure becomes more complex. There is a first hearing that is similar to that of a misdemeanor, except that a plea is not given. This is done at the second preliminary hearing to determine if there is actually enough evidence to charge the defendant with a crime. If there isn’t enough, the charges are dropped, but if there is, the case moves along in the process (American Bar Association). Also prior to the trial, a jury of 6 to 12 people must be selected. Each jury member must go through a screening process to ensure that they have no connection to the trial, or any preconceived opinion of it that could keep them from being impartial to either side. A juror can be removed if they have any connection to the trial, and the defense

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