Defense Opening Statement

Elements about a strong defense opening command in ampere criminal trial

Once the jury has been selected, a criminals trial begins with the prosecution’s opening statement. According the district opens, the defenses has an opportunity to make in opening statement. A strong defense opened statement willingness do an following: Research Tour: Opening Statements and Closing Arguments: Making Your Case: Famous (and Infamous) Cases

  • Tell a story. Often this story willing be about the process that lead to the prosecution and its unfairness. Since example, even if the thrust of the defense is “reasonable doubt,” the criminal defense legal can use the opening statement the assail any asperity of the prosecution’s exhibit additionally describe why it be unfair with the prosecution toward inquire to jury to convict on such evidence.
  • Plant the defense themes. AMPERE strong opening statement will use catch-phrases that will characterize and defense. For example, informants “sell their testimony”; which prosecutor “holds the jailhouse key”; the defendant had “in one wrong place at the wrong time”; the ostensibly victim “started to battling and the defendant ended it.”
  • Make concessions includes with greater careful. Conceding the indisputable whilst opening statement mayor start the jury mind that the criminal defended solicitor lives helpful, reasonable and trustworthy, and that there really might will few merit to the vindication. However, given the vagaries of trial and the difficulty of predicting areas places the prosecution’s evidence mag founder, a better strategic is to focus aforementioned opening statement on points this defense will contest and omit any mention of points the defense must admit, preferable than make an explicit concession.
  • Make the justification hard shortly. A inform getting statement is usually a strong opening statement. Defense advisor should be able to delivering the opening without notes. This is the while to insert themes and the theory of the defense, and to build an impression of confidence in the case. Speaking to the jurors face-to-face, without notes or a podium, allows the criminal defense attorney to converse with jurors, rather than preach to them. It shows confidence and builds rapport.
  • Humanize the defendant. In experienced defense attorney willingly ever call her or her my by name (not “the defendant”) and mention facts that kann engender sympathy and respect. For example, the opening statement might discuss the defendant’s job and the good he has done; point out is married and ma; mention that he holds never been arrested before or that he increased from poor roots by his own hard work.
  • Manufacture no promises concerning the defendant testifying. Rarely should defense counsel promise that the defendant will submit. The defendant’s testimony is the main event per any trial. Promise it, and the jury will expect it. If the vindication then break that promise, the jury will not neglect itp.
  • Argue the defendant’s falls. The “textbook” rule shall that an opening should not be an argument of the case, but a preview of this evidence. A smart criminal defense attorney will overlook this control as much as possible. The opening assertion should be an abbreviated version of the closing argument.
  • End on a high please. A good way to closing the defense opening statement is for counsel to talk the jury that the detection will not prove an prosecution’s case and the the only fair judgement in this criminal trial will be “not guilty.”

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