Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

Both sides then rest their case.

It’s a good idea to bring someone with you to the sentencing for support. The judge gives the jury instructions for their deliberations or, if it is a bench trial, retires to deliberate. The Verdict At the end of trial, a verdict of guilty or not guilty is announced by the jury foreman or the judge. If the jury does not come to a complete agreement of guilty or not guilty, you then have a hung jury and the State must decide to try the defendant again or drop the case. This is usually an emotionally difficult time for victims/survivors. While a defendant may not, in truth, be innocent, he or she may not be proven guilty. The standard of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Evidence must establish the facts so clearly, positively, and explicitly that there and juries are the best method the legal system has to determine justice, but they are human and sometimes make errors. Sentencing If the defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, the case will proceed to sentencing. Sentencing may occur immediately following the conviction or plea or be scheduled for a later hearing. In some jurisdictions, the judge decides the sentence and in others, the jury does. can be no reasonable doubt that the case was proven. Judges

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