Procedural Issues at Trial Description
Each party in a trial has a specific role and specific duties; these are defined by both law and custom. Each role has developed to serve the interests of either the state or the defendant. In addition to the duties of each party, there are rules of evidence that serve to protect the rights of the accused; a primary example is the exclusionary rule. The following questions should be approached with the protection of rights as the main focus.
- Who are the actors, and what are their roles in a trial? Be sure to focus on who the adversaries are, who the finder of facts is, and who rules on the law.
- Should jurors be given the ability to ask questions of witnesses during trials? Why or why not?
- Do you see the exclusionary rule and inadmissible evidence as a protection of rights or a free pass for criminals?
- What could replace the exclusionary rule to protect a person’s constitutional rights from police malfeasance?