Fundamentals of a Jury Trial

1. Jury selection

2. Prosecutor gives an opening statement to outline the case and evidence to the jury

3. Defense may give a similar opening statement, or wait until later in the trial

4. Prosecutor calls witnesses, which the defense may cross examine

5. Prosecutor rests

6. Defense may call witnesses and the prosecutor may cross-examine them

7. Defense rests

8. Prosecutor may present "rebuttal" witnesses/evidence to challenge evidence presented by the defendant

9. Prosecutor rests

10. Prosecutor presents a closing argument to the jury

11. Defense presents a closing argument to the jury

12. Prosecutor may present a rebuttal argument to the jury to respond to the defense closing argument;

13. The judge gives the jury detailed legal instructions about the charged crimes, the deliberation process, etc.

14. Jury deliberates and returns a verdict

 

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