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Phase 3 Discussion Board Colorado Technical University Online CJUS440-1202A-04: The Laws of Evidence Dr. Sabrina Richards Christopher B. Lane

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Trial Procedures The first topic of discussion we will talk about is a lay witness, and according to the author of the book, Gregory D. Lee goes on to say what a lay witness is. A lay witness is someone who gets on the witness stand, and is sworn under oath in court law; to tell the judge and jury what they have seen, or what they heard (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 223-224). The citizen lay witness is subpoena to court, and generally, they will face the defendant; the constitutional right that concerns this is the 6th, and the 14th (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 223-224). The subpoena is also called, duces tecum, which is Latin, although, a lay witness comes from different walks of life (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 223-224).

The next topic of discussion we will talk about is called, the expert witness. Gregory D. Lee goes on to say what expert witness; the expert witness can be anything from the following: Alcohol and Drug Intoxication, Audio Tape Examinations, Bite Marks Analysis, Blood Grouping and Spatter Analysis, Criminal Profiling, DNA testing, Eyewitness Identification, Fingerprint Identification, Firearms Examiner, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Biology, Forensic Engineering, Forensic Entomology, Forensic Odontology, Forensic Pathology, Forensic Physical Science, Forensic Psychiatry, Hair and Fiber Analysis, Hypnosis, Microtrace Analysis, Neutron Activation Analysis, Photography, Physical and Mental Condition, Polygraphers, Questioned Document Examination, Sketch Artists, Soil Sample Analysis, Speed Detection Devices, Tool Mark Analysis, Toxicology, Traffic Accident Reconstruction, Truth Serum Results, Typewriter Comparison, and Voice Comparison (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 240-245).

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The next topic of discussion is law enforcement witness; the author Gregory D. Lee goes on to say what law enforcement witness or Police Officer witness; the jury often looks at police officers as being biased towards the defendant, because the jury perceives it to be; that the police brought the defendant or accused to justice (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 225226). Although the jury perceives the police officers testimony would be credible, unless, of course, it is proven otherwise (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 225-226). The law enforcement, in general has this image of the public as being rushed into getting a witness booked and brought to justice (Lee, Practical Criminal Evidence, 2007, pp. 225-226). In the eyes of the community; the police officer has a bad image to the public.

The next topic that will be discussed, and that is how important is the witness on the stand for the prosecution’s case against the defendant or the accused. It is vital to have a credible witness when they take the stand. If the witness has been examined by the prosecution, then, the cross-examination will commence from the defense attorney, which is to prove to the jury that their client is innocent of all charges. If the witness is not credible, then it would not prove the defendant is guilty. The defense attorney will do anything to put doubt into the testimony. The defense attorney will try to get away with badgering the witness on their whereabouts during the time the crime was allegedly committed.

The next discussion would be in the same scenario as the last paragraph. When it is pertaining to the defense witness, when, the defense calls their first witness, and then after they get through with the questioning; then the prosecution will cross-examine the witness, and try to

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put doubt in the defense attorney’s witness that is on the stand. The prosecution and the defense attorney will try their best to persuade the jury to seek either a guilty or not guilty verdict. Each attorney will call all of their witnesses, until either the prosecution or defense rests their case in front of the judge, and jury.

The next discussion will be how each witness plays a role for either prosecution or the defense. One question you may be asking yourself. How do they prepare their witness? They prepare the witness by asking question before they go to trial, and the prosecution will do the same with their witness as well. If there is any uncertainty, then, it will hurt their case, if in fact, the witness does not hold up on the stand under cross-examination. When the defendant gets on the stand, if in fact, the defense elects to call the defendant to the stand, which is a judgment call for the attorney. If the defense attorney firmly believes it would hurt their case, they can advise their client to not take the stand. The prosecution’s witness is not the accused, and it is different from the defense attorney’s witnesses; the defense attorney’s witness will testify under oath the defendant was innocent, and put doubt into the charges.

The next discussion would be how important is an expert witness when they take the stand. This is important, because if the person(s) that has been acknowledged by the courts as an expert witness, and at this point the jury will recognize the expert witness testimony will have some credibility. However, it does not mean either the prosecution, or the defense attorney will try to put doubt into the expert witness testimony. The two attorneys’ can try to object to the testimony, but the judge may overrule their objection, because the witness is an expert.

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References Lee, G., D. (2007). Practical Criminal Evidence, Pearson Prentice Hall Publisher, New Jersey, (1), 223-224, retrieved on: April 26, 2012 Lee, G., D. (2007). Practical Criminal Evidence, Pearson Prentice Hall Publisher, New Jersey, (1), 225-226, retrieved on: April 26, 2012 Lee, G., D. (2007). Practical Criminal Evidence, Pearson Prentice Hall Publisher, New Jersey, (1), 240-245, retrieved on: April 26, 2012

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