Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Criminal Justice, Crime, Evidence, Defendant, Law, Court, Grand, Prosecutor

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/15

Pretrial detention and concept of bail

Before a person goes to trial he/she goes through a process from the moment that they become a suspect in the case. During the pretrial process the phases a person goes through are considered an important process. First a person is arrested which not the same is as willingly going in to the station for questioning. An arrest is considered when a person is not free to leave on their own will because the police are exercising there authority to detain this person. After the arrest a person will be booked into the jail. He or she will go through a process where there mugshot is obtained as well as fingerprints or other identifying factors. When this is finished he/she may be searched and there personal things will be taken while they are placed in a cell inside the jail. In some instances a person can post bail to get out of jail while the case is still being investigated. Sometimes bail can be made right after the individual is booked and other times the person has to wait for what is known as a bail hearing. During this hearing an amount would be set determining how much of a risk he or she is for fleeing as they are promising to be at court for their hearing at a later date. An arraignment is known as the first court appearance for the offender. At this time other court dates will be set and the accused can enter a plea of whether he/she is guilty or not. They may also obtain an attorney or have a court appointed one to represent him/her. When the arraignment is finished a process known as the plea bargain process which is where the suspect can choose to agree or disagree with the prosecutors offer of time that he/she will spend in jail. If the defendant chooses not to agree to the plea bargain the defendant has a right to take the case to trial. Last a preliminary hearing is held where the judge will listen to the evidence the prosecution has against the defendant. The judge will decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial against the defendant (Clarke, 2015).
Bail is set for one main reason and that is to make sure that the person accused of a crime will show up to the court date when it is time. When a judge determines if he or she will set bail they will look at criminal records of the defendant to determine what type of risk this person is. The judge will also examine the reliability of the defendant in the case that this person may or may not have shown up to court dates in the past. In some instances a person will be released with no bail and in others the bail may be higher because of the type of crime or history of reliability of the defendant. In some instances where the bail is very high and cannot be feasibly paid in cash a company that specializes in bail bonds will post the money for you in exchange for collateral and a promise to pay. If the person that is expected in court does not show up for the court date the bails bondsman will revoke the bond and take the collateral as they are now tasked with helping find and detain the fleeing suspect (Morrell, 2015).

Preliminary examinations

The preliminary examination is part of the pretrial where probable cause will be discussed. This is determined by a judge who looks at evidence presented to see if it is capable of proving a criminal act had been committed and that the defendant might be responsible for breaking the law. For instance the evidence that would show a crime had taken place (evidence of a murder) as well as evidence placing the defendant at the scene of the crime when it happened. During the preliminary examinations there are instances where hearsay evidence is admitted which would not be admitted in trial. This is similar to a trial as the defendant will be given the right to cross examine witnesses however the defendant is not able to actually object to any evidence. Any objections would be done at trial including constitutional objections about the evidence being obtained unlawfully. If there is not proper evidence the defendant may be released however there could still be an investigation and more evidence presented at a later date. If the defendant is held than records will be given to the magistrate so he/she can determine any bail that will be set (Courts, 2015).

The role of the Grand Jury

The grand jury differs depending on the state that you are charged with a crime in. In the chance that a person is being prosecuted by the state the constitution and the Fifth Amendment are not considered applicable for the defendant however many state constitutions do require that a grand jury is present. Approximately half of the states in America will indict a grand jury when there is a felony case being interpreted. A Grand jury consist of people who are randomly selected to hear evidence that the prosecutor submits to prove the defendant is guilty of the crime that they are being accused of. The hearings held with the grand jury are very secretive and closed off from any public. In the end after all evidence is presented a grand jury will hand down there decision which will determine if the defendant is found guilty of the crime that he/she is accused. The grand jury does not sentence the defendant that is done later they just determine whether or not the evidence proves that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (Fagan & Harcourt, 2015).

The prosecutor’s duty to disclose exculpatory information

The prosecutor has a specific duty to disclose all evidence that will be used as evidence against the defendant on trial. The Brady rule is a rule that was named after a case known as Brady vs. Maryland where the term Brady material was coined to describe all evidence needing to be disclosed. This includes credibility evidence and evidence that would pertain to the sentencing. If the prosecution chooses not to follow this rule all evidence brought up later would be suppressed and not allowed in court. This is because it would be considered prosecutorial misconduct as the prosecutor may have purposely withheld certain things so the defense did not have an opportunity to prepare for defending their innocence or the innocence of their client. An example of this is if a witness is later introduced that the defense did not know about and is considered an expert witness. If the defense is not aware that this expert witness will be presented in the case they will have no time to gain knowledge of the witness. This knowledge could pertain to the credibility of the expert witness which could be important when it comes to determining guilt or innocence of the defendant. Even if the prosecutor claims that he/she did not intentionally withhold any evidence it will not matter because it will be considered as a prejudice and the evidence will not be allowed at trial because of this rule (Institute, 2015).

Prosecutorial Misconduct

There are certain rules and standards in a courtroom that prosecutors are expected to follow. When the prosecutor goes against the set rules or ethics he or she is guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. There are many different forms of this including acting improperly in the courtroom by making inappropriate comments or introducing evidence that has not been allowed or suppressed. In some instances a prosecutor may be extremely unprofessional and take part in hiding or destroying evidence that is important in the case just so that he/she can win the case and get a guilty verdict. This is unfair to the defendant and is not allowed in the courtroom and can in the end cost the prosecutor a lot. Prosecutors have also been known to present information that is incorrect or misleads the jury and even to threaten or harass witnesses. The actions of past prosecutors are the reason there are now rules in courtrooms to stop what is now known as misconduct by prosecutors (Legal, 2015).

References

Clarke, P. (2015). Auth. Admin.writerbay.com. Retrieved 10 March 2015, from http://admin.writerbay.com/my_orders?subcom=detailed&id=215966762
Courts, U. (2015). Rule 5.1 Preliminary Examination. Ilnd.uscourts.gov. Retrieved 10 March 2015, from http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/LEGAL/FRCrPWeb/fcr00006.htm
Fagan, J., & Harcourt, B. (2015). Professors Fagan and Harcourt Provide Facts on Grand Jury Practice In Light of Ferguson Decision | Columbia Law School. Law.columbia.edu. Retrieved 10 March 2015, from http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2014/november2014/Facts-on-Ferguson-Grand-Jury
Legal, U. (2015). Prosecutorial Misconduct Law & Legal Definition. Definitions.uslegal.com. Retrieved 10 March 2015, from http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/prosecutorial-misconduct/
Morrell, E. (2015). Legal-Ease: Understanding the Concept of Bail in New Jersey - Eric B. Morrell Criminal Law Blog on Lawyers.com. Criminal.lawyers.com. Retrieved 10 March 2015, from http://criminal.lawyers.com/blogs/archives/13764-legal-ease-understanding-the-concept-of-bail-in-new-jersey.html

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WePapers. (2020, December, 15) Free Pretrial Process Essay Sample. Retrieved March 07, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-pretrial-process-essay-sample/
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"Free Pretrial Process Essay Sample." WePapers, Dec 15, 2020. Accessed March 07, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-pretrial-process-essay-sample/
WePapers. 2020. "Free Pretrial Process Essay Sample." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved March 07, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-pretrial-process-essay-sample/).
"Free Pretrial Process Essay Sample," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 15-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-pretrial-process-essay-sample/. [Accessed: 07-Mar-2021].
Free Pretrial Process Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-pretrial-process-essay-sample/. Published Dec 15, 2020. Accessed March 07, 2021.
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