Define what a prosecutor is.
A prosecutor is a person mostly with specialization in law who institutes legal proceedings against a party. A prosecutor is a lawyer who stands the court side that accuses a person of some crime and tries to prove the guilt of the defendant. Within the American criminal justice system, Prosecutors are important officials. Attorneys serve as a bridge between criminals and justice. They respond to various crime problems through the efficient processing of criminal cases. In most jurisdictions whether foreign or local, prosecutors dispense their duties through coordination with different security sectors and the public (Blanchard, Hart, & Blanchard, 2006).
Prosecutors decide, based on police reports, which is charged and ultimately whether a case will proceed to trial or be pled out. Mostly, the image of the United States prosecutor is a diligent professional who represents the jurisdiction in criminal trials for serious felonies. Indeed, many (perhaps most) aspiring attorneys have ambitions of arguing high-profile cases before juries and ejecting dangerous felons from several places. But there is much more to the prosecution than the prosecution of criminal cases. The progress of a prosecutor is determined with the precision and legalism at which they dispense their duties. The competence of a prosecutor is determined by the frequency of positivity they acquire from the cases they stand represent.
Prosecutors' roles vary from nation to nation. However, the sole role of representing the government in cases remains stand still. American prosecutors also are somehow unique in that they perform a number of functions. The most obvious role is of prosecutor is standing for the government in courts and judicial processes, upholding the constitutions of federal states. Furthermore, though, prosecutors have the potential to influence law enforcement activity due to their screening function. Prosecutors can always dispense their duties with favoritism. This is because the delivery of cases in the court is their duty, and nobody can influence them except the authorities.
Prosecutors can alter both the quality and nature of legal enforcement investigations by deciding not to press charges against offenders. Prosecutors and specifically their interest groups also strive to amend procedures and legislation to favor them. The electorate also has influences over prosecutors. The views of the electorate can serve a great role in defining the level of prosecutor functionality. Prosecutors are branded very pivotal people in the sector of law and justice. Their delivery of functions influences the nature of cases and outcome as well. They are, therefore, essential people in the society due to their influence.
Describe the types of evidence: discovery evidence, rebuttal evidence, and exculpatory evidence.
Evidence is a fact or observation presented so as to support some particular assertion. Evidences are used in most places to prove assertions, hypothesis, and theories. In the law, evidence is used to determine the authenticity of an assertion hence declare someone innocent or guilty. In the event a suspect is taken to court and charged with certain cases, it is upon the two sides- the prosecutors' side and the defense side to produce evidence in support of their assertions. The prosecutor provides evidence in a bid to prove the guilt of the accused. The accused, on the other hand, produces evidence through their legal attorneys so as to prove their innocence. There are different types of evidence as used in law.
Under the law of the United States, discovery is the pre-trial phase during lawsuits where each faction is allowed to acquire certain evidence and documents from other parties. Each side under discovery is allowed to compel the production of such evidence through the subpoena or requests for production of documents as well as depositions. The evidence acquired through the discovery process is, therefore, referred to as the discovery evidence. The law of the United States requires that the civil discovery involve all material that is reasonably and lawfully calculated to lead to evidence. Any measure by anybody that is seeking evidence from any place is respected provide legal thresholds are adhered to. In the United States, most civil cases are solved by the help of discovery evidence (Acke, & Brody, 2013).
Discovery evidence is applied at both federal levels and national levels. However, there are slight differences between how the process of extraction of discovery evidence is conducted at national level and that of the federal level. Many states have developed discovery procedures that depend on the federal system. Some states adhere closely to the federal model whereas some have expressed dynamism in dealing with discovery evidence. Some states have developed extremely different discovery evidence approach by formulating their formulae of working on the same. Discovery evidence can be acquired in several ways.
Discovery evidence can be acquired through interrogation. Questions can be written from the plaintiff to the defiant or even from the defiant to the plaintiff. Such questions can be delivered to the respective respondents by mail or other official means. The attorney of the defiant or the defiant themselves answer the4 questions in witting then sends the feedback. Duration is given when the respondent is required to have completed and sent a response. In most jurisdictions in the US, the response time does not go beyond one month.
Deposition and production of documents
Deposition can be used to obtain discovery evidence for the purpose of a court case. Deposition involves a verbal interchange between the plaintiff and the defiant. During such conversations, either side asks questions or the other side produces comprehensive answers. Clarification is sought instantly. Preferably there it should be done in the presence of legal attorneys for legal advice and direction. A court reporter is included in the process to record the conversation after the respondents have sworn. The information can then be used in a court of law as evidence to as to prove certain points. Production of documents is also a method of obtaining discovery evidence. Just as a party intends to introduce a trial, the other party can be compelled produce certain documents that are important towards the proceedings of the court case. Through this method, essential information can be retrieved justice and peaceful operations hence.
However, discovery evidence has been criticized as giving favor to the rich people in the society. In the case of two parties, the wealthier side is associated with gaining more advantage over the other side due to the value of the process. For instance, one can drain their fellows' financial strength by giving requests that are very expensive. A party can request certain discovery wants that involve long traveling and spending. Such moves taint discovery evidence system. Some parties can also give requests that consume time. Time consumption can be done in a bid to delay the court case. Judicial procedures are, therefore, highly disadvantaged. Despite all those hiccups, discovery evidence has been used for conducting court cases in most parts of the world. Particularly in the United States, the process has assisted in investigation and realization of justice as well.
Rebuttal evidence is evidence delivered by a party in a court case so as to disapprove and oppose the evidence offered by their opponent. Rebuttal evidence tends to display the contrary of the opponents evidence. During court cases, for instance, the prosecution can produce evidence4 before the court so as to prove the guilt of the accused. The accused, on the other hand, can study the prosecutor's evidence and produce their own with a view of diverting the logics in the prosecutor's evidence. Rebuttal evidence is not adduced but rather introduced while the rebutting party answers their case.
In law, certain rules and regulations are applied to rebuttal. Rebuttal evidence can be produced in the form of multimedia or human witnesses. The evidence whether in document form or human witness should argue only on the evidence provided by the opponent. Confinement to the subject matter is paramount. During rebuttal, new evidence that concern other subjects are not brought to rebuttal as that will result to breach of the law. Rebuttal evidence comprises of surprise evidence and witnesses that the other parties might not be aware. Both sides of legal controversy are obliged by the law to table evidence and witnesses that they expect to use before the court. Both sides can be informed on how the evidences are set to be presented throughout the court process. In certain cases, for instance, the prosecutor can introduce a fresh subject of argument of witness (Blanchard, Hart, & Blanchard, 2006).
The accused side of this matter is granted the opportunity to issue rebuttal evidence as a way of counter-attacking their opponent. Evidence that is not anticipated is at many times subject to rebuttal. Rebuttal presumptions are subject to destruction by rebuttal evidence. The court can believe certain aspects even before confirmation and authentication. Such facts are accepted by the courts of law until they disapproved by a rebuttal evidence. Upon the submission of rebuttal evidence, the court diverts its attention and believes otherwise. The diversion of the courts belief is only possible when the rebuttal evidence is real and authentic as viewed by the jury. For instance, there is a common presumption that one a woman gives birth to a child, she is married. Therefore in a court of law, a woman with a child is considered married until proven otherwise by the help of rebuttal evidence.
The judicial process throughout the world offers room for rebuttal evidences during court cases. Rebuttal evidences serve the jury with the second thought. In case, facts are only established by information provided by both sides. Certain information can be authentic while some cannot be considered legally admissible. However, it is somehow complicated for the jury to establish the facts if at all they do not accept perspectives from both sides. Therefore, rebuttal evidence is essential towards the realization of justice in courts of law. Rebuttal evidence is provided for in the American constitution. At national level, the law is very effective hence prompting application at federal levels.
The defendant is the accused in a court case. The prosecution produces evidence in order to prove guilt of the defendant. Exculpatory evidence is produced to favor the defendant in a criminal trial and attempt to exonerate the defendant of guilt. Exculpatory evidence in most cases counters the reality behind the prosecution evidence. Exculpatory evidence is the right of defense for the defendant since it aims at proving their innocence hence removing charges from them. Just as several jurisdictions in the world, the US law requires prosecutors to reveal the exculpatory evidence of the defendant that they hold before the defendant get into a plea. In a plea, the defendant is either declared guilty or not guilty as per the value of the tabled evidence. There should not be force of prior request for the production of exculpatory evidence by the prosecutors. It is the obligation of the prosecutors to submit exculpatory evidence without pressure or force.
The prosecution is not supposed to search for exculpatory evidence because that is not their responsibility. The responsibility of the prosecutors is to just the evidence at their possession, control or custody. The prosecution including police and investigators is required to disclose information that any member knows or is aware dated. However, the law does not compel them seek information regarded as exculpatory evidence. Requirements for exculpatory evidence are considered as a legal inclusion of the due process of law. Exculpatory evidence is constitutional and is regarded as the inconsistency with the prosecutor's responsibility to seek justice (Blanchard, Hart, & Blanchard, 2006).
The duty to present exculpatory evidence is automatic even before the request by the defendant. The duty to reveal exculpatory evidence includes impeachment evidence as well as exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory evidence is only material if there exists a reasonable likelihood that made the evidence been disclosed to the defendant, it will have changed the result of the court proceedings. Evidence that relate to the witness credibility is grouped as material exculpatory evidence. The defendant and the jury should be made aware of the credibility of the witnesses that testify during court proceedings. Information about the credibility of the witnesses assists the accused and the jury in establishing whether their testimonies can be considered right or not. Exculpatory evidence is, therefore, very critical towards the realization of the legal process in court cases.
Explain in details the case of Duke Lacrosse case
Duke Lacrosse was a criminal case in 2006 from an issue that was later proved as false accusation of rape. The men's lacrosse team at Duke University in North Carolina United States made the headlines when three they were accused of rape. The case was accompanied by massive fallouts hence claims of reverse racism and other sociological vices. It even led to the resignation of prosecutor Michael Nifong.
In March 13, 2006, an African-American student at North Carolina Central University, Crystal G. Mangum falsely accused three white students of rape. Mangum who was a dancer and stripper as well accused three Duke University students of raping her during a party that was held in Durham, North Carolina at two of the team's captain's houses. Mangum argued that in a party that was prepared by the lacrosse players at their houses, she was allegedly raped by three of the men. She alleged that she could identify the men who mutilated her. Several people believed in the incident and prosecutor Michael Nifong was not left behind as he expressed a belief in the possibility of the alleged rape. Roberts, who was with Mangum, was questioned for her inconsistency because initially she said they were walking then later said, they were driving. Prosecutor Michael gave an upper hand to the possibility of guilt in the boys. The prosecutor operated in the case as a de facto investigator. The prosecution proceeded and produced posters branding the three men guilty even before proper judicial trial.
However, North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper dropped the charges and declared the three men innocent on April 11, 2007. Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligman, and David Evans were freed by Roy cooper who described Michael Nifong as a rogue prosecutor. Nifong requested removal from the case in January 12, 2007. Attorney General Roy Cooper's office took charge of the case the day that followed. Following judicial operation that Cooper's office did after taking over the case, the men were declared innocent. On June 16, 2007, Nifong was ordered found guilty of fraud, declaration of false statements, deceit, and misinterpretation. He was the disbarred following a unanimous decision from the disciplinary panel. On august 31, 2007, Nifong was sentenced to a single day in jail by superior court judge Osmond smith (Johnson, 2013).
Some media reports suggested that the supervisor who carried out the lacrosse investigation, Mark Gottlieb had unjustly targeted the students of Duke University in the past. This was considered as a bad blood between the students and the supervisor. The supervisor, therefore, would stop at nothing to ensure the duke university students are convicted. Prior to the incidents, Mark had made several illogical arrests to the students citing misconduct as a reason for the same. In certain circumstances, Mark raided the certain students' houses dragging them to police custodies for very peculiar offenses that were unreasonable. The case was, therefore, marred with a lot of suspension and mistrust due to historical differences.
The defense lawyers described the prosecutors as using intimidation tactics to win the case. The police intimidated the witnesses to align them into certain lines of argument. The photo identification processes were purely flawed. Magnum was made by the prosecution to identify certain photos of duke university students who were members of the lacrosse team. The answers that she produced were used as the biblical truths without consideration of fiction identification from Mangum. In this, the prosecution was irregular in evidence collection. The result of the trial was, therefore, expected to be unfair.
The duke lacrosse case was a very complicated case. It showed the real situation behind the law and prosecution. The case sounded as a warning to several prosecutors who in one way, or another were victims of false conviction of suspects in courts of law. The prosecution in the duke lacrosse case dispensed its duties without considering the set professional thresholds of law and the ethical considerations of the criminal investigations. An importance of exculpatory evidence was expressed in Duke Lacrosse case. The DNA tests did not provide substantial evidence to convict the suspects yet they were. In fact, the information in the DNA tests was essential in declaring the suspects innocent because it could have served as their exculpatory evidence. The prosecution decided to withhold such essential information hence denying the suspects their legal rights (Baydoun & Good, 2007).
Johnson, K. C., &, S. T. (2013). Until proven innocent: Political correctness and the shameful injustices of the duke lacrosse rape case. New York: St. Martin's Press.Acker, J. R., & Brody, D. C. (2013). Criminal procedure: A contemporary perspective. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.American Bar Association. (2005). Obtaining discovery abroad. Chicago, Ill: ABA.Blanchard, R. D., Hart, W. M., & Blanchard, R. D. (2006). Litigation and trial practice. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.Baydoun, N., & Good, R. S. (2007). A rush to injustice: How power, prejudice, racism, and political correctness overshadowed truth and justice in the Duke lacrosse rape case. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.