Security Administration Viii 3 Testifying In Court


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Testifying In Court

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Security Administration Viii 3 Testifying In Court

  1. 1. Testifying in Court
  2. 2. Overview • Grand Jury vs. Trial Jury • Expert vs. Regular Witnesses • Preparing for Court • Speaking/Acting with Confidence • Giving Your Testimony • Review
  3. 3. Grand Jury vs. Trial Jury • Both examine the relevant evidence of a case • Grand juries decide whether to indict (bring formal charges against) a suspect. • Trial juries determine whether the defendant should be acquitted of the charges against him/her. • Grand jury is more closed and relaxed • Prosecution and defense attorneys go to trial
  4. 4. Sequence of a Criminal Trial • Jury selection. • Opening statements by prosecution and defense. • Prosecution’s case presentation. • Defense’s case presentation. • Closing statements by prosecution and defense. • Instructions to jury. • Jury deliberation to reach verdict. • Reading of verdict. • Acquittal or passing of sentence.
  5. 5. Expert vs. Regular Witnesses • Expertise • Provide Opinion • Qualified
  6. 6. • They go on thinking that their legal instinct and their common sense supplies them with all that is needed and somewhat more . . .
  7. 7. lawyers judges juries
  8. 8. • Yes – if the average Juror (or Judge) does not have the necessary experience and knowledge
  9. 9. • Training • Work Experience • Formal Education • Experience as an Expert • Passing a Standardized Test • Recognition by Academic Institution • Recognition by a Professional Organization
  10. 10. Justice Blackmun explained that “absent an acceptable showing of such a nexus, evidence on the phases of the moon indicating that it was full on a certain night could not be received to show that a particular individual was behaving irrationally on that evening.”
  11. 11. • How can we expect jurors to decide between experts when the jurors’ ignorance is the premise for allowing the expert to testify in the first place? •Learned Hand, 1901
  12. 12. Preparing for Court • Begins at the scene • Take good notes • Review your report • Be confident • Be prepared to explain inconsistencies
  13. 13. Case Presentation • Direct examination: the initial questions of a witness or defendant by the lawyer who is using the person’s testimony to further his or her case. • Cross-examination: Questioning by the opposing side for the purpose of assessing the validity of the testimony.
  14. 14. Speaking/Acting with Confidence • Get/stay familiar with the court • Know the major players • Don’t discuss the case in public • Treat people with respect, be professional & polite • Don’t get personal • Be on time • Dress right
  15. 15. Giving Your Testimony • To effectively testify in court: – Be prepared. – Look professional. – Act professionally. • Attempts will be made to discredit or impeach the testimony of the security officer in court.
  16. 16. Inadmissible Statements • Opinion (unless qualified as an expert). • Hearsay. • Privileged communication. • Statements about character and reputation, including the defendant’s past criminal record.
  17. 17. Effective Testimony • Speak clearly, firmly and with expression. • Answer questions directly. Do not volunteer information. • Pause briefly before answering. • Refer to your notes if you do not recall exact details. • Admit calmly when you do not know an answer. • Admit any mistakes you make is testifying. • Avoid jargon, sarcasm and humor. • Tell the complete truth as you know it.
  18. 18. Using Notes • Refer to your notes if you are uncertain of specific facts, but do not rely on them excessively.
  19. 19. Nonverbal Elements in Testimony • Important nonverbal elements include: – Dress. – Eye contact. – Posture. – Gestures. – Distance. – Mannerisms. – Rate of speech. – Tone of voice.
  20. 20. Strategies for Testifying • Set yourself up. • Provoke the defense into giving you a chance to explain. • Be unconditional. • Do not stall.
  21. 21. Cross-Examination by the Defense • The defense attorney may: – Be disarmingly friendly or intimidatingly rude. – Attack your credibility and impartiality. – Attack your investigative skill. – Attempt to force contradictions or inconsistencies. – Ask leading questions or deliberately misquote you. – Ask for a simple answer to a complex question. – Use rapid-fire questioning. – Use the silent treatment.
  22. 22. Cross-Examination by the Defense • Avoid conclusions and nonresponsive answers. • Answer yes-or-no questions with “yes” or “no.”
  23. 23. Review • What is important in testifying in court? • What is the usual sequence of a criminal trial? • What is direct examination? Cross- examination? • What kinds of statements are inadmissible in court? • How can one testify most effectively?
  24. 24. Review • When should you use notes when testifying? • What nonverbal elements can influence courtroom testimony positively and negatively? • What strategies can make testifying in court more effective? • What defense attorney tactics should an officer anticipate?
  25. 25. That’s all . . .