The court that I visited was the Boston Municipal Court which was located at the Government Center T stop on the Green Line. The name of the judge was Honorable Charles R. Johnson. The hearing that I attended was a criminal case involving theft. The defendant was present. He was about 30 years of age and was charged of stealing the money from a grocery store. There was a witness who testified before the court and was the cashier during the time the defendant stole the money. The cashier was a 25 year old girl who was on duty when the crime took place. The witness was credible and she vividly presented in detail how the events transpired. I was able to witness how the courtroom operates and the justice process. It is known as an adversary proceeding wherein the prosecution and the defense are opponents as they present their own witnesses and evidences to prove their claims.
I noticed that in this criminal case that I attended, the trial was attended by the prosecutor, who represented the state and the accused, who was represented by his defense lawyer. The judge and other court personnel were present during the proceeding. Each of the members of the courtroom performed their significant roles in the administration of justice.
The members of the courtroom group started the legal process with the trial judge, who has jurisdiction over these cases and has the formal authority over the result of the court proceedings. The judge will rely on the members of the group including the prosecutor, the defense attorney and other court personnel to be able to provide him the necessary information regarding a particular case. Overall, I noticed that there was sharing of information regarding the case in order for the judge to arrive with the decision. At this instance, the trial judge becomes the informal leader of the courtroom group by weighing the evidence presented by the prosecutor and the defense panel.
I also noticed the decorum in court was formal by following a norm for their behavior in a predictable manner. The members of the courtroom instill the standards of professional conduct and policies by respecting the court processes and the orders of the judge to avoid being cited for contempt. I can conclude that the courtroom group shares a common goal of bringing justice to those who deserve it by disposing the cases efficiently.
The judge was fair and unbiased since he allowed both the prosecution and defense team all the time that they need to present their allegations and claims. During the trial, the prosecutor and the defense shall were afforded equal opportunities for the presentation of cases in order to prove their respective allegations and defenses by establishing facts and testimonies of witnesses. In this particular case, the prosecutor was convincing enough to establish the guilt of the defendant to warrant his conviction for the crime of theft. The evidence that is required to convict the accused for the crime of theft for stealing the money at the grocery is guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution team will be able to achieve the conviction of the accused by establishing that accused committed the crime based on the testimony of the cashier who was on duty when the crime took place. At the same time, the cross-examination of the witnesses will help in establishing the involvement of the defendant in the crime. During the trial, the judge instructed the prosecution and the defense to make use of the principles of law that will serve as a guide that will prove the innocence and guilt of the defendant.
My view of the criminal justice system did not change since I witnessed a fair trial conducted by an unbiased judge. I saw that the prosecution and defense provided their respective witnesses and submitted pieces of evidence to convince the judge to acquit or convict the defendant for the crime of theft. I admire the prosecution and defense lawyers for fighting it out in court to protect their clients. I find litigation work more challenging and fulfilling than being a corporate lawyer or a law professor. In the future, I also want to become a litigation lawyer because I am fascinated with courtroom proceedings. Becoming a lawyer does not only mean filing cases in court and defending clients during trial. It is also a way to become instrumental to the youth who aspire to enter the legal profession. I am proud and honored to spend worthwhile time learning from the courtroom proceedings. However, in the event that I eventually become a lawyer, my preference is the build a career in legal practice or litigation and not teaching. I believe that I can do more for other people by defending their rights, which is not applicable in the teaching profession.