I’m really glad you could join us today. I’m here to talk about jury trial process. What are the steps of how a jury trial works? I’ll walk you through from start to finish on that. It’s relatively simple steps. I’ll boil it down. So first of all, I do have a video on jury selection. So there’ll be a whole panel of jury members that are brought to court and there’ll be a jury selection that the judge might start with some opening comments and your vetting jurors to find 12 and you can watch that video if you like. Now, once you’ve got the 12 selected, the judge might have some opening comments about how the trial is going to work for the jury so they understand how they’re going to be proceeding in the next seven days say it in a sexual assault manner. Now, what happens then is the Crown Attorney does an opening statement so they’ll stand in front of the jury and give an outline of their anticipated evidence, the witnesses that are going to be called and how the how the witnesses are going to flow in and what do you are, he or she anticipates they’re going to say. At that point then, the trial commences in terms of calling witnesses so the crown will call for example, the victim the alleged victim or complainant, police, any police witnesses or other witnesses. How does that work than, so let’s take the complaint that the victim of the crime alleged victim at least. Now, the crown we’ll call them examination in chief so we’ll ask him who, what, where, why, when, type open ended questions, where the victim will give their version of events from start to finish kind of in a chronological order. Defence counsel is then allowed to cross examine the victim, they’re allowed to use leading questions like you were at the store for example. In other words, the questions suggest the answer and you’re trying to create improbabilities, inconsistencies, this type of thing to create a reasonable doubt. So, the trial will proceed in that matter. The crown keeps calling witnesses there’s examination in chief, followed by cross examination, by the way defence counsel is allowed to re-examine, if they need to their own witnesses, if they’re allowed to clarify and we’ll get into that. So you finished the crown’s case. Now, defence counsel’s allowed to do an opening statement, if they’re going to call their client. Now, in most sexual assault trials, the defence calls evidence,  it’s not all, it you don’t have to, but in most you do. So you’ll do an opening statement about the anticipated evidence, you might talk a little bit about the burden of proof and proof beyond reasonable doubt. So to educate the jury on that, and then you call your client and any other evidence that that’s required to show your defence and the same procedure examination chief or defense counsel is asking open ended who, what, when, where, why questions, the crowds cross examining with they’re allowed to ask leading questions. And then of course, defence counsel is allowed to reexamine if there’s clarifications. Or an area was uncertain that the crown cut off the witness and that needs to be explained more, if I might put it that way. Now, we’re at the end of the evidence that the defence closes its case and what happens next? So, the judge has to prepare a jury charge to the jury.  This this is kind of a summary of the relevant law and evidence that goes to the jury and that those charges can they can be lengthy. I mean, I’ve seen them one and a half, sometimes two hours. Some judges are pretty specific and might be able to do it an hour but that’s rare. But what happens is the jury will typically go home for say half a day. The judge presents the say 60, 70, 80 page charge that they prepared. And the defence counsel, crown, has a conference with the judge where they critique or make suggested changes. So every party comes through agreement about the judges charge to the jury. So the jury will come back. And if defece counsel called evidence which they normally do, or at least our firm, nobody does in a sexual assault matter, I will do a closing submission to the jury. I like to keep mine, I mean, you know people’s attention spans is only so long. So I like to keep mine between 45 minutes to an hour in a sexual assault trial. You’re arguing that there’s a reasonable doubt and the case should be dismissed from not guilty by the jury. Then the judge or the Crown Attorney will give their closing submissions same idea they’re trying to convince the jury that they’ve proven their case beyond reasonable doubt. Now in a jury trial, if the defence calls evidence, you’re not allowed to give a reply so I can’t stand up and after the crown closes, those are closing submissions. I’m not allowed to stand up and say, oh, here here’s more submissions. I’m trying to respond to that. So what I always do in my closing submissions, I say it’s my last opportunity to address you so when you hear the crown, you may think there’s look there’s a legitimate argument and Mr.  Kruse could have made well I’m not allowed to so you provide that legitimate argument. And then of course, following that the judge will give their charge their closing charge should ensure you and then the jury starts their deliberations and in order to find guilty the unreasonable doubt you’d have to have 12 unanimous juries conversely, to find not guilty, 12 unanimous juries you know, not guilty verdicts from the jury. And if they can’t all agree, it’s a missed trial. The trial has to start all over again and another jury sitting, so that’s the way our jury system works. It’s and typically I find the typical sexual assault trial jury trial that I’ve done over the years, for days will be very quick. I find 5,6,7 sometimes even eight days depending on the number of witnesses. So So there you have it. That’s the basic process. For a jury trial involving a sexual assault matter. Thank you for joining me today.

By Published On: August 4, 2023Last Updated: October 27, 2023Categories: General, Video

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