Name and location of prosecuting attorney
The researcher conducted an interview with one of the prosecuting attorneys in Washington, DC. Chloe Fackler, one of the deputy prosecuting attorneys in Washington, shared her views and experience as a prosecutor in this country. The current physical location of the attorney is 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
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Importance of a criminal investigator’s testimony in court
The interview with the prosecuting attorney clearly indicated that the criminal investigator’s testimony is very important and it may make or break a case. A criminal investigator is an expert who can construct the events that took place in a given crime scene although they were not present at the time of the crime. They can detect instances where a crime scene has been stage-managed to mislead the investigators (Broadbent, 2008).
Their opinions are particularly important in cases where the witnesses are compromised, witnesses’ statements are conflicting, or instances where there are no valid witnesses. Their testimonies help the jury and the judge to comprehend the events at the crime scene and the possibility that the accused was really involved in the crime as suggested by the attorney. From the interview, I was able to gather that sometimes expert testimony is used to address contradicting testimonies and exhibits. The experts help in addressing the conflicting facts so that the jury can make informed decision in a given criminal case.
Explanation why some cases are not prosecuted
According to the interview conducted by the prosecuting attorney, there are instances where some cases are not prosecuted. A number of factors can make it unnecessary to prosecute a case. One of the leading reasons why some cases are not prosecuted is lack of sufficient evidence. For a prosecuting attorney to take a suspect to court for prosecution there must be sufficient evidence that validates the case.
The prosecution team must be convinced that a given suspect indeed committed the said crime. If that is not the case, then there will be no prosecution. Another reason why some cases do not go to prosecution is outside-court settlements. The victim and the suspect may agree to settle the issue outside the courts. In other cases, death or disappearance of the complainant may bring a case to its natural death. Prosecution can only be validated if there is a complainant.
Tips for a criminal investigator for providing expert witness testimony
In this interview with the prosecuting attorney, a number of tips were provided on how to provide expert witness testimony. One of the most important factors that is important when providing expert witness testimony is to avoid personal opinion. The opinion should be based on facts and figures. The expert should also avoid emotions when providing a witness testimony. The evidence produced in the court should be self-sufficient and should make sense to the jury and the judge.
According to the expert, some of the good habits witnessed are cases where experts provided testimony that that went against their personal desires (Vidhu, 2011). These are cases where one provides a truthful testimony even if it incriminates a close friend. Some of the bad habits that the prosecutor has witnessed when providing expert witness testimony are cases where contradictions emerge. The statement provided by the expert can be self-contradicting. In other cases, the expert may provide varying statements on different occasions, making it difficult to trust the testimony provided.
Keys to testifying during cross-examination
Cross-examination sessions are often very challenging for the expert witnesses because the defendant’s attorney will try to challenge the evidence provided before the court. Sometimes the cross-examination can be so thorough that the witness may get confused and start making contradicting statements. A number of factors can help in avoiding such unfortunate scenarios (Wilson, Rutherford, Storey, and Wortley, 2014). The witness should always be as truthful as possible from the time he makes the first statement. One should avoid making any statement that cannot be substantiated. When the cross-examination begins, the witness should remain calm and focused.
He or she should be keen on every question posed by the cross-examiner. It is also important to avoid answering any question that is not clear. The witness should be keen to identify any leading statements. They should not allow the cross-examiner to make them state something that they do not mean. The prosecution attorney warned against making statements that may be considered disrespectful to the cross-examining attorney. Any form of rudeness is often considered contempt to the court. As such, it is necessary to stay composed and respectful even when the cross-examination gets personal and unpleasant. It is only when one is composed that the process can be successful.
Broadbent, G. (2008). Public law: Directions. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Vidhu, R. G. (2011). Court martial process: Empirically studied. New York, NY: Springer.
Wilson, S., Rutherford, H., Storey, T., & Wortley, N. (2014). English legal system. Oxford: Oxford University Press.