Questions tagged [trial]

For questions about trial in a court of law -- customs, procedures, and rules.

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116 views

What happens to Kyle Rittenhouse's AR-15 now?

It is my understanding, that the rifle was taken away from the accused, and that it was part of the evidence used during trial by the prosecution. However, now that the trial is over and the man is ...
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1answer
452 views

Can the defense claim that the defendant isn't the defendant? And if so, how is the case handled?

"I object, Your Honor. What precedent are we setting here? That the defendant isn't actually the defendant?" — An American Pickle (2020) Suppose that a man that society identifies as ...
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1answer
155 views

How many murder trials take place in America each year?

A handful of murder trials get extensive media coverage each year for a variety of reasons. In November 2021 the two hot trials are the State of Wisconsin vs Kyle Rittenhouse and State of Georgia vs ...
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1answer
121 views

Are there statistics on how often Mistrial with Prejudice happens in the US?

During the Rittenhouse trial I was surprised to learn there's a legal concept called Mistrial with Prejudice. Are there any statistics on how often this happens in Federal and State courts in the US ...
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2answers
10k views

Are lawyers allowed to lie about the law during closing arguments?

In his closing arguments during the Kyle Rittenhouse case, the prosecution said (full quote) that “You lose the right to self-defence when you’re the one who brought the gun, when you’re the one ...
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1answer
210 views

Isn't the distinction between trial judges' oral vs. written decision specious?

Source: Representing Yourself In Court (CAN): How to Win Your Case on Your Own (2015). p. 187 Top.      The judge (or jury) has made a decision, which was either: From the bench. This is ...
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1answer
441 views

Why does the prosecutor get both the first and the last word at trial?

In the U.S., rules of court have the prosecutor in a criminal trial giving the first opening statement, followed by the defense's opening statement; and then the final closing statement, after the ...
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1answer
81 views

How would the amount of "latitude" that is allowed a defense attorney be determined under the following?

This situation is seen most often on TV legal shows like Perry Mason and Matlock, but is seen from time to time in real life. The prosecution is trying to show that Y killed X. The usual means are to ...
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2answers
106 views

Does a witness admit perjury by testifying a different story on retrial?

Bob was a witness in a trial. That trial was later declared a mistrial and a new one was ordered. When taking the witness stand again, Bob tells a whole different story, inconsistent or directly ...
2
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1answer
85 views

Can a retrial admit evidence given in the original trial?

Say there was a criminal trial, and the verdict was later set aside on appeal due to some critical procedure errors happened during questioning of one specific witness (out of many). For example, a ...
2
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1answer
101 views

What happens if I never receive my CA jury duty summons in the mail?

This question is strictly hypothetical, but what happens if I never receive a Jury Duty Summons in the state of CA in the mail? Theerefore, I miss whatever trial/week I was assigned to, because I ...
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1answer
28k views

What does it mean to have a case vacated?

What does it mean, and what are the implications of having a trial vacated? Importantly, I would like to know whether this means that the current case is ditched and the prosecution has to lay down ...
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1answer
43 views

If a witness of a criminal trial recants on the stand, how would treating him/her hostile favor the attorney who called him/her?

It's a valid method with witnesses unwilling to tell the truth, but I don't know how it would be useful. You'd at least need proof (s)he lied. And the jury naturally will trust more the witnesses ...
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2answers
156 views

Can a federal judge impose a higher sentence than the prosecutor proposed in the US?

Suppose a US federal attorney/prosecutor brought a case before a US federal court and the defendant is accused of committing a federal crime. The law says that the defendant can be imprisoned up to 5 ...
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1answer
142 views

What does it mean that a trial in a US court is "Public"?

This question is based on this answer to Constitutionality of outlawing recording of court proceedings in the United States and relates comments. The Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution provides, ...
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3answers
5k views

How do civil courts handle denial of evidence as forged, tampered, or claims that 'I did not sign it' or 'That's not me'?

In a Civil Trial, how do courts handle scenarios when evidences presented are denied (by plaintiff/defendent) as forged, tampered, or claims that 'I did not sign it' or 'That is not me'?
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2answers
192 views

Is the following case about jury nullification true?

Let's say that someone lied about jury nullification in order to get on a jury with the intent to nullify, and they then get indicted for perjury. If they just demanded a trial by jury, would the ...
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5answers
4k views

How are expert witnesses motivated?

As a party to a court case, how can one motivate to testify a person who has the wanted expertise? Offer them $$$? (Let's not consider those expert witnesses who make living by testifying / actively ...
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2answers
281 views

Can a lawyer question you about your religious beliefs during a trial?

Can a lawyer question you about your religious beliefs during a trial? I've heard that the U.S. census asking about your belief is illegal in the United States. It has been against the law since 1976 (...
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1answer
42 views

Can an attorney refer to testimony made in preliminary hearings during their opening or closing arguments?

Can an attorney refer to testimony made in preliminary hearings during their opening or closing arguments? For example, let's imagine that in a preliminary hearing before the trial has started, a cop ...
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2answers
89 views

Can you get videos of trials heard at court in UK?

I am doing self study of Law. My law book says that it is a very good idea to go to court and see how it is done live. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 the courts in my town are not open to public. ...
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2answers
782 views

If the superior sovereign deports an individual, is that a defense for failure to show up to court?

I am specifically thinking in the context of the United States, but other jurisdictions where there is a notion of federalism and competing priorities for different sovereigns are also interesting. ...
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4answers
5k views

Can a prosecutor hold back charges so they can try again?

Assume I was alleged to have been involved in a bank robbery gone wrong - guns were fired, people were killed and injured, some robbers were arrested at the scene, some escaped etc. Obviously, there ...
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452 views

Judge to jurors: "I cannot give you a trial transcript; no such transcript exists" So, what is the court recorder doing?

After the closing statements in the Chauvin murder trial, the judge says the following to the jury before they retire to consider their verdict: "You will take with you into the jury room, ...
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2answers
211 views

Can a witness pleading the 5th be used as evidence?

In the Derek Chauvin trial, Morries Hall, a key witness for the prosecution has plead the 5th because he worries his testimony could result in charges against himself. My question is, is the jury ...
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135 views

On what grounds could threats of civil unrest overturn the results of a trial?

On Saturday, April 17, 2021, United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters called for protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin ...
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2k views

Can you be convicted based on the testimony of the victim alone?

I am reading a book called "Gender Stereotyping - Transnational Legal Perspectives", which says that: The second case, R. v. Ewanchuk36 (“the Ewanchuk case”), concerned the role of sexual ...
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1answer
64 views

How long is Ghislaine Maxwell's trial likely to last? [closed]

A friend wants to visit NYC and go to the trial starting 29 July. She's wants to stay a month. I reckon the likelihood that is 1) the start date will be moved back, and 2) it will run way, way longer ...
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1answer
90 views

Can a witness answer a yes/no question with "Sure"?

When a witness is presented with a yes or no question on cross-examination, is answering "sure" an equivalent answer to "yes"? Specifically, could it be viewed by a jury that a ...
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3answers
276 views

How does a witness get an attorney?

Someone who was with George Floyd the day he was killed pleaded the Fifth (source). The Hennepin County Public Defender's Office filed the notice on behalf of Morries Hall, who was sitting in the ...
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1answer
64 views

Can I use the court report to show false statements? [closed]

I have filed a Motion for New trial in Texas. Lots of prejudice and bias on my end (not just me - all involved agree, of course). I had 5 hearings in 1 day, attorney quit week before (I caught her ...
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3answers
48 views

Preparing for Motion for New Trial [closed]

What is needed to prepare for a Motion for New Trial Hearing? My understanding is I will get to make an opening statement, opposing counsel will list reasons to deny and then I will get to discuss my ...
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1answer
172 views

US criminal case - change of venue

In the US, if a defendant in a criminal trial (in state court) wants to change the venue of the trial, is it possible to have it changed to another state?
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1answer
62 views

Trying a foreigner in the United States - praticalities

I am reading this press release of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The attorney states that: Mason Sheppard, aka “Chaewon,” 19, of Bognor Regis, in the United ...
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1answer
278 views

Who is to examine the witness who is the self-represented plaintiff or prosecutor?

Bob is a self-represented plaintiff in a civil case (or, say, private prosecutor in a criminal case). He is also a witness. If the trial is judge-alone aka bench (not jury), he is able to conduct it ...
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2answers
2k views

Can the accused change their mind about testifying mid-trial? USA criminal law

As I understand it, under US criminal law, a defendant may decline to testify in their own trial. Suppose a defendant elects to testify in their own trial but decides that it is no longer in their ...
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1answer
346 views

Is trial by combat legal in the United States of America?

I am neither American, nor a lawyer. Rudy Giuliani is both. The former New York mayor walked on stage to “Macho Man” before calling on Trump supporters to settle the dispute over the election via “...
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2answers
1k views

Meaning of "Strike from the Record" in legal code? Is there *any* memory/record once "stricken"? By who/what handled/processed? Proof of striking?

"Strike the record" ("strike from the record", "strike that from the record") is a frequently spoken phrase in legal procedural docudramas. Are there violent connotations ...
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2answers
275 views

Lawyer knows trial is hopeless but tells client they can win

(Hypothetical) Rob is charged with a crime. His lawyer, upon receiving discovery, realises that they are very unlikely to win the trial if they plead not guilty, that the best course of action for Rob ...
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1answer
198 views

Recourse for prosecution whose witness suddenly changes their story on the stand

Say prosecution has a witness who saw the defendant do the crime and is happy to testify it on the stand. But when they take the stand, they suddenly surprise the prosecution by saying they did not ...
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1answer
519 views

Can I surprise the prosecution with an alibi defense at trial?

Let's say I've been accused of a murder. Throughout the investigation I've plead the Fifth as to where I was when the crime happened. Eventually I'm put on trial, still pleading the fifth as to my ...
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31 views

Where/whom can I look/contact to find historical minutes of murder trials in former Yugoslavia (circa 1925)?

I am writing an article about an alleged female serial killer that committed over 30 murders in former Yugoslavia (now Serbia, possibly in the town of Zrenjanin) around 1925. I have found several US ...
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1answer
137 views

How would jury selection work for a trial of Donald Trump?

There are rumors of investigations into President Donald Trump that could potentially result in criminal charges after he leaves office. If this were to happen, how could a jury be selected in order ...
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2answers
233 views

Can defense request findings of fact before resting?

Hypothetical scenario: A victim is identified with documented injuries consistent with having been struck with a weapon. The police find and charge a person (now "Defendant") that they claim ...
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3answers
5k views

Does killing witnesses before trial suppress them?

If a witness is killed, or dies, before formally testifying at a criminal trial in what manner, if any, can his relevant statements be admitted or used against a defendant? For example, if sworn ...
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1answer
90 views

Labelling of exhibits in US criminal court. Why the repetition of letters?

I have been watching a series of videos of a criminal trial in the USA. I have noticed that exhibits for the defence are labelled with four consecutive letters but often (if not always) these letters ...
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1answer
240 views

Is there a limit to the number of trials on a criminal charge permitted due to hung juries?

In a jury trial for a criminal charge, SCOTUS recently ruled that a guilty verdict must be unanimous. In (almost) every state a verdict to acquit a criminal defendant must also be unanimous. If a jury ...
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3answers
239 views

When and why are jury trials preferred to bench trials of criminal charges?

A jury trial consists of a judge, who is the arbiter of law, and a jury, which is the "fact-finder." A bench trial consists only of a judge, who determines questions of both law and fact to ...
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3answers
10k views

Are juries able to ask questions during a trial?

One thing I keep seeing on TV crime dramas like Law and Order is that the defense and prosecution ask questions of those at the bench for the sake of the jury, at times trying to trigger emotional ...
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3answers
9k views

How can Edward Snowden be denied a jury trial?

Is the US right to a trial by jury a conditional right which can be revoked preemptively? It was my understanding the US Constitution allowed anyone accused of a crime to be judged by a peer jury. ...