Every state has their rules of law, which must not be violated by any of the citizens of that particular state. The rules may be in the Constitution, Acts or other unstated forms. When such laws are violated, it follows a legal process in which the parties involved file a case in a Court of Law (Neal, 2009). A case involves a petitioner, defendant, witness (es), and the jury. This essay gives guidelines on what are two of the most important things for a witness to remember before testifying at a jury trial. We study the key things that a witness must remember in testifying before the jury, to give the best information on a particular case presented to a jury for trial.
A witness is an individual needed to arrive in a courtroom to respond to different queries of a particular case. The responses and the answers presented in a court are called evidence. Before the evidence is given, the witness takes an oath or affirmation to tell the truth, swearing by The Bible or The Quran according to the faith they profess (Neal, 2009). The witness gives an assurance to tell the truth regarding the mentioned case. Initially, a witness is alerted by the court through a subpoena from the court, that asks them to go to the court and when. It also tells them on who asked them to arrive in court. The Crown prosecutor and the defense lawyer may likely speak to them, finding out their familiarity with the case, before deciding to take them as a witness.
A witness must remember at all times to speak the truth. Honest evidence sets free the innocent and sends the guilty to sentence (Neal, 2009). This leads to a fair ruling from the jury, without any bias, and ensures that the rule of law abides. Witness education element involves introducing the eyewitness to the trial course and physical arrangement of the court and revisiting earlier statements and the main issue of the evidence (Neal, 2009). These significant essentials stop the witness from giving conflicting statements and from seeming anxious or uneasy on the stand. When witnessing the truth, one should admit every fact without figuring out if the fact will help or hurt either side of the case. Lies and any dishonest aspects damage the witness’s credibility and taint everything that said (Neal, 2009). Questions must be answered to the best of the memory, with clarity and speaking in your own words. In addition to honest, witnesses must protect their credibility. They should be cautious of any tricks an attorney might use to test the credibility.
In addition, witnesses should prepare with the attorney. It is legally allowed to do so, only that it could be an ethical violation if the attorney guides them on how to respond. The attorney discloses the questions to expect and find out how the witness would answer on the (Neal, 2009). This helps the witness to remain relevant and sticks to credible information to the jury. The answers a witness give may be evaluated by the attorney and affirms with the witness on how conversant they are with the case ahead.
Interrogation is the formal questioning of a suspect/witness conducted in a controlled environment free from any mode of distraction and performed in an accusatory manner in order to learn the truth from the suspect or the witness. Investigation preparations involve considering the setting and the environment, knowing the case facts, being familiar with the subject’s background, and determining the method used to document the confession. Investigative technique is unique to different investigators. However, successful investigators show respect for the suspect’s constitutional rights. This wins the suspect’s/witness’s trust as the investigator finds out any information from them (Becker, 2009). In addition, an investigator should show respect for the dignity of the witness. They must possess an understanding of human and conversational dynamics- this entails communication (either verbally or in actions).the investigator must maintain control over passions and prejudice, and exhibit self-confidence and professionalism. They should portray self-respect and the respect for the law and the criminal justice system (Becker, 2009).
An investigator must be in pursuit of a confession- a statement from the witness/ suspect that acknowledges personal responsibility for a crime, including details only the guilty person would know. The investigator must be well conversant with the confession law, the area of law dealing with the proper technique for legally obtaining a confession from a suspect or a witness, and the rights assured to a suspect/ witness when they are deciding if they should give a confession (Becker, 2009).
Becker, R. F. (2009). Criminal investigation. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Neal, T. M. (2009). Expert witness preparation: What does the literature tell us. The Jury Expert, 21(2), 44-52.