Case Presentation Phase of a Court Trial Essay
Case Presentation Phase of a Court Trial
The presentation phase of a criminal case trial starts with the opening statement of the side of the prosecution. In the opening statement, the prosecution is required to inform the jury (if it is a jury trial) what their side intends to prove. This usually consists of a statement or description of the crime which the defendant had supposedly committed and how he or she perpetuated the crime.
The opening statement, though, is optional as far as the defense is concerned. It is not a requirement since the defense does not have to prove anything. The task of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt falls on the prosecution, otherwise, the defendant will be pronounced not guilty. However, defense could make an opening statement if they so desire as part of their strategy for the trial. If they decide to do so, then the attorney representing the defendant makes his or her opening statement after the prosecution has finished with their opening statement (Cowling, n.d.).
After the prosecution is through with the presentation of their case, the defense again is presented with an option of putting up a defense or not. In some cases, the side of
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The two sides then rest their cases after they have presented their evidence. The closing statements or summations then follow to conclude the presentation phase of the trial. Here, the state presents its closing statement or closing arguments first. The defense then takes its turn, to be followed by the prosecutor’s “final and brief summation” (Cowling, n.d.).
Cowling, A. (n.d.). Basic Criminal Procedure From Arrest Through Trial. Retrieved
November 25, 2007 from http://www.allencowling.com/false04B.htm