Week 2 .2

Explain the purposes of opening statements in a criminal trial.

Detail the order in which opening statements occur to the jury, and comment on whether or not this ordering seems the most fair or not.

Provide an opinion on the significance of opening statements; are jury trials won or lost at this stage of the proceeding and why?

Create improvements to the current system of opening statements to insure that the truth is ascertained through the trial process.

As you know from the reading and video materials for this week, opening statements are not opening arguments. Instead, lawyers are required to state simply what the facts of the case will show and what will be proven at trial. Examine the notion of latitude given to attorneys from some judges to argue their cases in the opening statements. Should such actions be allowed: why or why not?

Brook, S. M. (2013). Opening statements: Persuasive advocacy without crossing the line (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.thefederation.org/documents/07.Opening%20Statements.pdf

An evaluation of the basics of opening statements and a detailed synopsis of the “do’s and don’ts” of opening statements.

Hirschhorn, R. B. (1991). Opening statements: You never get a second chance to make a first impression (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved fromhttp://www.kearneywynn.com/Articles/Opening-Statements.pdf

The author advances that cases can be won and lost at this crucial stage of a jury trial: the opening statement.

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