October 1, 2012
Jury Trial Analysis
In the United States of America, the criminal justice system is based on the adversarial system or common law system. An adversarial trial allows the accused or defendant to be given a fair chance to prove his or her innocence. The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that the defendant is to be given a fair chance to oppose the prosecution, have witnesses to help with his or her defense, face and question the complainant, and for his or her case to be heard by a group of people who are unbiased and impartial. This group is known as the trial jury. Jury Selection. To start the process of jury selection, a group of ordinary citizens are summoned to the courtroom by way of a juror summons that he or she has received in the mail. Once in the courtroom each juror must go through a process called voir dire. Voir dire is a questions and answers session that is facilitated by both the prosecutor and defense attorney along with the judge. This process is done to see if any of the potential jurors are biased or have been predisposed by anyone or prior information the potential jurors may have heard about the case. After the jury has been selected, the case is ready to go to trial. Opening Statements and Prosecution’s Witnesses. At the beginning of the trial the prosecution as well as the defense will make an opening statement. This statement will give the jury and judge an overall summary of what both sides will intend to prove during the trial. Once opening statements are complete, the prosecution will start to call witnesses that he or she believes will assist in proving the case. The witnesses will give testimony based on what he or she witnessed personally. In addition, the prosecution may call upon expert witnesses to give their points of view on the case based on their professional knowledge. The prosecutor’s main goal is to persuade jury...