Judge must be convinced that guilty plea is freely

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Judge must be convinced that guilty plea is freely given, with you understanding what you are doing o Judge must ascertain that you understand what’s going on (mental capacity, language skills, etc.) o Judge can throw out your decision and enter you as not guilty o Guilty pleas can be negotiated for: plea bargaining Prosecution (DA) and defense attorney get together and bargain Prosecution attorney may say that he will still charge you, but he will ask for a lesser charge Murder 1, for example, can be discussed Can negotiate to get murder 2 – avoid death penalty or life in prison o Then, when you are arraigned, plea bargain decision is brought to judge Judge will again make sure that you know what you’re doing o Only go forward if there was a not guilty plea o Guilty plea ends process Calendaring o Set a time for trial o Tactical issue o People who run calendar have good idea when a particular judge will be available o If we set start date as November 2, have to see what judges will be available that date o Some judges have slant toward prosecution, others toward defense o Attorneys can jockey for a date, but the calendaring officer determines the date Pre-trial o Exactly the same as in civil law
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o Have conference where both sides present information (evidence, areas of argument) Eliminate possibility of surprise Choose jury o Same way as in civil law o Voir dire process Trial o Opening statements o Tell them what you’ll tell them, etc. o But rules now are much stricter No hearsay Witness o Constitutional protections that come from Bill of Rights, which apply to gathering and presenting of information Hard evidence is gathered by search and seizure Need search warrant o Granted based upon probable cause o Once you have probable cause, you can get warrant Warrant is very specific – what, when, and where you can search o Warrant is limited to what’s on the warrant o What you’re looking for is specified on the warrant Something that isn’t can be confiscated, but not presented against you Exceptions o Plain view Can confiscate something in plain view and use
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