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Joe's trial

Video animation of the trial process

We’ll follow Joe into the courtroom and use this animation to try to get an idea of some important aspects of the trial process. Things that it would be good to look out for include:

(i) Who does what? What can you learn about the roles of the participants?

(ii) The layout of the courtroom: Not all courtrooms look the same, but there are some general common features. How does the way that the courtroom is set out relate to the various jobs that people do?

(iii) The location of Joe: What does Joe’s location suggest to you about the way in which defendants participate in the trial process?

You’ll see that only Joe and Alan are on trial. You might be wondering why this is. What about the other members of their group? Think back to the idea of attrition that we encountered in week 1. We know that even if these other group members have committed a crime, that there are various reasons why their case might not progress past particular stages of the criminal justice process. So, it might be that the other individuals have not been apprehended. Perhaps they were apprehended but a decision was taken not to prosecute them. Or, it may be that they have already pleaded guilty – in which case their trial is effectively already over, apart from the sentencing stage.

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From Crime to Punishment: an Introduction to Criminal Justice

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