The prosecution and defense attorneys (in that order), are given the opportunity to relate their interpretations of the facts in question to the jury. Little or no mention of the law is allowed during the opening statements.
The prosecution attempts to meet its unshifting burden of proving the defendent guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by bringing a parade of witnesses to the stand. A witness will either be able to
Following the prosecution's direct examination of each witness, the defense attorney is given the chance to cross examine. During cross examination, the defense is attmepting to damage the credibility of the prosecution witnesses by showing ulterior motives, bias, contradictions in their testimony, and general weaknesses. Sometimes, the defense may not wish to cross examine a particular witness because nothing useful would be gleaned.
Once the prosecution has presented all of its witnesses, the defense files a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the prosecution has not presented a proper prima facie case. This is usually an abortive attempt.
Step two is repeated, except this time with the defense attorney direct-examining the witnesses and the prosecution cross examining them.
Reviewing the evidence presented into the record during the case, each side attempts to convince the jury that the law demands a judgement for their side. Usually, the defense speaks first, with the prosecution being the last thing the jury hears.
The judge tells the jury the exact law dealing with the charges brought against the defendent, and tells them what questions they must answer to bring back a guilty or not guilty verdict.
Beyond the scope of personal knowledge - there's no way the witness could know or should be expected to know the answer to the question.
Characterization - the witness is stating a generality about someone
Hearsay - introducing an out-of-court statement to prove that what was said was, in fact, true
Inflammatory - the witness' statement unfairly prejudiced the jury
Irrelevent - the question is not pertinent to the defendent's guilt or innocence
Leading the Witness - on direct examination, asking a question that requires a "yes-or-no" answer
Not an expert - the question calls for expert testimony that the witness cannot give
Opinion - the witness is not qualified to give an opinion on the matter, or should not be giving one.
Prior Bad Acts - crimes that the defendent was not convicted of cannot be mentioned at trial; crimes resulting in convictions can only sometimes be brought up
Speculation - the question requires a guess on the part of the witness
Ultimate Issue - the question requires a non-expert witness to testify as to the guilt or innocence of the defendent.
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