Courtroom Observation

By now, you should have observed a court proceeding for a criminal case.

In this module, you will submit a paper summarizing the court proceeding you observed and other relevant information. Your Module 03 Course Project should include the following information:

  • Date, time, city, state, name of courthouse, of court proceeding
  • What kind of court proceeding did you observe?
    • Trial, hearing, plea bargain, sentencing hearing?
    • If you watched recorded content, you must be sure to explain the source (You Tube, etc.)
  • What was the defendant’s name?
  • Name of all participants (judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, any witnesses)
  • What is the crime/specific criminal law that the defendant allegedly violated? (This will be important for the next part of the assignment.)
  • What individuals did you observe in the court proceeding? (prosecutor, judge, etc.)
  • What was the role of each individual you observed?
  • How were the defendant’s constitutional rights protected during the proceeding?
    • Examples:
      • Defendant’s right to notice of charges
      • Right to counsel (Sixth Amendment)
      • Privilege against self-incrimination (Fifth Amendment)
      • Right to confront witnesses (Sixth Amendment)
      • Right to present evidence (Sixth Amendment)
      • Right to a jury trial (Sixth Amendment)
      • Exclusion of illegally obtained evidence (Fourth Amendment)
  • What was the outcome of the proceeding? (guilty plea, set for trial, conviction, sentence)
  • Student’s reflection and overall thoughts about the proceeding.
    • Was it more/less formal than you expected?
    • What student learned from the experience
    • How experience helped student learn more about criminal law and procedure

Be sure your paper includes all information asked for in the assignment.

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