Chapter 8 Notes: Textbook March 12, 2013
• The trial judge has the primary duty of ensuring justice. “The trial judge has the responsibility
for safeguarding both the rights of the accused and the interests of the public in the
administration of criminal justice.. the purpose of a criminal trial is to determine whether the
prosecution has established the guilt of the accused as required by law, and the trial judge
should not allow the proceedings to be used for any other purpose”
• State judgeships are won through either popular election or political appointment
• The prosecutor is responsible for presenting the state's case against the defendant.Aprosecutor
is also called the solicitor, district attorney, state's attorney, county attorney, or commonwealth
• Attorneys generally serve four-year terms, with the possibility of continuing reelection.
• Brady v Maryland: the prosecution is required to disclose to the defense evidence that directly
relates to claims of either guilt or innocence.
• US v Bagley: The prosecution must disclose any evidence that the defense requests. The court
reasoned that to withhold evidence, even when it does not relate directly to issues of guilt or
innocence, may mislead the defense into thinking that such evidence does not exist.
• The decision to try a defendant simultaneously on multiple charges allows for the presentation
of a considerable amount of evidence and permits an in-court demonstration of a complete
sequence of criminal events. This strategy has an additional practical advantage: It saves time
and money by substituting one trial for what might otherwise be a number of trials if each
charge were to be brought separately before the court.
• Imber v Pachtman: rules that state prosecutors are absolutely immune from liability...for their
conduct in initiating a prosecution and in presenting the State's case
• Burns v Reed: a state prosecuting attorney is absolutely immune from liability for damages...
for participating in a probable cause hearing, but not for giving legal advice to the police.
• Three types of defense attorneys assist criminal defendants in the US:
◦ PrivateAttorneys (criminal lawyers or retained counsel)
◦ Court-appointed counseling
◦ Public Defenders
• Powell vAlabama: the 14Amendment requires courts to appoint counsel for defendants in
capital cases who are unable to afford their own
• Johnsth v Zerbst: the court overturned the conviction of an indigent federal inmate, holding that
his 6 amendment due process right to counsel had been violated. The court declared “if the
accused...is not represe