Questions tagged [trial]

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

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6
votes
1answer
3k views

Can a jury always convict on a lesser included charge?

There is a question on movie stack exchange regarding the Few good men movie (spoilers) regarding why some people were not found guilty of first degree murder but only of a factually fully different ...
13
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
645 views

Why *must* a defendant be present during a criminal trial?

The Sixth Amendment guarantees: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.... I recently discovered that, in general, these ...
5
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Can NGROI defense be argued after a guilty verdict?

tl;dr: In the U.S., can a "not guilty by reason of insanity" (a.k.a., NGRI or NGROI) defense be offered after a guilty verdict but before sentencing? In criminal prosecutions in the U.S. it is common ...
7
votes
1answer
636 views

How do lawyers find expert witnesses?

When a lawyer needs an expert witness I assume he looks for three things: Unimpeachable credentials Motivation to support his case The ability to favorably impress a jury, via a compelling demeanor ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Are motions to censure opposing counsel used?

Is it common, considered a good tactic, or even allowed, to move a court to censure – or even hold in contempt – the opposing counsel? If one has a reasonable argument for why the ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
632 views

How to handle Traffic Court ignoring basic rights

I requested a trial by jury in WA state for a traffic ticket (I know not a standard or suggested move as I understand, but I figured if I was going to court, I might as well have the satisfaction of ...
2
votes
1answer
197 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 ...