Unformatted text preview: The Witness, Defendant, and Media Players in the Justice Process The Witness, Defendant, and Media Witnesses Expert witnesses ...recognized as having specialized skills and knowledge in a particular area ...shown by education, work experience, awards, publications of studies... ...allowed to express opinions and draw conclusions in area of expertise. The Witness, Defendant, and Media Expert witnesses Testimony may confuse jurors because of complexity of subject and strict legal interpretation of information Most jurors view expert testimony as being more trustworthy than other forms of evidence Lay Witnesses Nonexpert witnesses The Witness, Defendant, and Media Lay Witnesses Eye witness: ...may be eye witnesses to the crime or came upon the crime scene soon after its perpetration. Character witness:...provides information about the personality of the accused, family life, business activities... Victim: the victim can also be a witness The Witness, Defendant, and Media Witnesses Witnesses are notified to appear in court to testify by an official written document called a subpoena. Subpoenas can be delivered by a law enforcement officer, an officer of the court, or by mail. Failure to comply...contempt of court All witnesses are subject to cross-examination (a 6th amendment right) The Witness, Defendant, and Media Witnesses Witnesses may be personally and morally criticized As long as the intent of the questions is to show that the witnesses is not credible...the judge will usually allow such questioning. The Witness, Defendant, and Media The Defendant ...usually present at trial...may decide not to be present after trial begins ...have the right to represent themselves...to proceed "pro se" the Sixth Amendment, in addition to guaranteeing the right to retained or appointed counsel, also guarantees a defendant the right to represent him/herself. The Witness, Defendant, and Media Pro se: ...a right the defendant must adopt knowingly and intelligently. the trial judge may deny the authority to exercise pro se right, as when the defendant simply lacks the competence to make a knowing or intelligent waiver of counsel or is disruptive of orderly trial procedures... The Witness, Defendant, and Media Pro se: A defendant who represents himself cannot complain that the quality of his defense denied him effective assistance of counsel The Witness, Defendant, and Media The Media Reporters, journalists...present at trial, especially the sensational cases The 6th Amendment requires public trials Publicity may cause problems The Witness, Defendant, and Media Problems: Publicity may make it difficult to find jurors who have not formed opinions on the case Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976)...gag orders versus limited gag orders How to deal with pretrial publication of information...detrimental to defendant? Change of venue Trial postponement Jury selection...eliminate biased people for jury pool ...
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- Spring '07
- Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, witness