Prosecution Verses Defense


Title: Prosecution Verses Defense Course: CJS220 Submitted by: Travis Hance Instructor: Stephen Gillespie

Prosecution Verses Defense While many defense attorneys and prosecutors maintain good relationships based on respect and courtesy, the adversarial relationship within


the courtroom is vital. This relationship enables the conflict between the law and rights of the citizens, and the defendant’s rights presumption of innocence to be challenged. The prosecutor and the defense attorney take turns presenting facts and issuing challenges in a manner that is intended to produce a final product that most closely represents the truth. The defense counsel provides support for the defendant before the trial by listening to the defendant’s opinion of the facts of the case. After considering all the facts, they also represent the defendant in matters relating to potential plea bargains. Finally, it is important for the defense attorney to aggressively pursue interaction with the prosecutors, in order to ensure that all potential evidence which prosecution plans to introduce is known. This ensures that the defense attorney has the best possible chance to prepare the defense and potential counterarguments. During the trial the defense attorney is responsible for examining the prosecutions evidence and attempting to raise doubt as to the guilt of the defendant. Finally, should a conviction happen, the defense attorney is then responsible for attempting to reduce the sentence, or may even pursue the appeals process. The prosecution has initial responsibility of reviewing circumstances surrounding the arrest, notes from the arresting officer, and decides whether to

Prosecution Verses Defense pursue a case. Should the case be worthy of pursuit based on evidence and circumstances, the prosecutor then must decide what charges to present for a case during the trial. Taking into account possible conditions surrounding the facts of the case is important, and even the potential for a plea bargain. Finally the prosecutor shares evidence with the defense prior to trial in order to meet legal obligation and ensure that the defense counsel is prepared before the trial. During the trial the prosecutor is responsible for presenting the states evidence in a manner that the judge and the jury will be able to follow. The presentation is important, because the prosecutor has the burden of proving the guilt of the defendant. After the trial is complete, the prosecutor provides recommendations on sentencing.


Prosecutorial discretion is a phrase that refers to which cases prosecutors choose to pursue. After arresting officers file charges, the prosecutor will examine the facts of the case. If the facts and evidence are trustworthy, the prosecutor will then try to determine whether the case can be won. This affects the flow of cases through the court in a significant way. Prosecutors play a key role in preventing a waste of taxpayer money, as well as the courts time by selecting key cases that have quality evidence and materials. In addition, multiple charges may be tried within a single setting due to a criminal episode. The adversarial nature of the relationship between prosecutor and defense attorneys is a vital one in our court system then, as it protects both the rights of the defendant, the rights of the citizens, and even works to promote the

Prosecution Verses Defense evolution of our system of laws. Without these key players our court systems would no doubt revert back to less effective forms of judicial process, where the concept of human rights were a quaint notion.