The Prosecution will prefer charges by bringing evidence before a grand jury for the jury to determine whether  to issue an indictment against the accused. After the indictment is issued the case proceeds to trial before a petit jury. The jury is selected from a pool by the prosecution and the defense. The pool is prepared having regard to devotion to civic duty determined by registration as a voter among other parameters. When indicted the accused are required to answer to the charges. Usually they may plead guilty, not guilty, autre fois acquit or autre fois convict. The case proceeds to hearing before the petit jury only in instances when the Defendants plead not guilty.

Application for bail is done at this indictment stage. Usually the Court will grant bail even without a motion to that effect since the right to liberty is a constitutionally guaranteed right. However, most Defendants will make the application as a cautious step. Bail is useful as it allows the Defendant to attend trial while enjoying his freedom rather than being remanded in custody.

Hearing of Prosecution Case
This takes place before a petit jury under the guidance of the judge. The prosecution starts because the burden of proving the guilt of the Defendant is on them.The Defendants are not required to prove their innocence. The standard of proof on the prosecution is beyond reasonable doubt.

The prosecution will call their first witness usually the Complainant. He will be led in examination in chief by the Prosecutor. The Defendants will then be given a chance to cross-examine the witness to question the veracity of the evidence. The Prosecutor then has a chance to re-examine i.e. ask the witness questions aimed at mending the holes that were opened during cross-examination. This procedure is repeated until the last prosecution witness has testified.

Motion to dismiss case
After the prosecution has rested its case the defense may bring a motion to dismiss the case for insufficient evidence. If the Court agrees, the case stands dismissed. If  it disagrees the case proceeds to defense hearing.

Defense Hearing
This occurs where the Defendants elect to present evidence in their defense instead of moving to dismiss the case for insufficient evidence or their motion to dismiss the case is dismissed by the Court. The Defendants have three options in conducting their defense. Firstly, they may opt to remain silent and wait for the determination of the Court.Secondly, They may lead unsworn evidence in which case they will not be cross-examined by the prosecution. Lastly, they may give a sworn statement in which case they and any other witness they call may be cross-examined by the Prosecution. The hearing of the Defense evidence proceeds just like the Prosecutions case namely examination in chief, cross-examination and re-examination.

Closing speeches
After the defense has presented its case both sides are given a chance to make closing speeches persuading the jury to find in their favor.

Summing up and verdict
The Judge then gives instructions to the jury and leaves them to deliberate and come up with a verdict of either guilty or not guilty.

This is in when the Jury finds the Defendants guilty. Both sides are given a chance to submit on the sentence suitable in the circumstances. The Court then pronounces the sentence.

This is usually to a higher Court. If the higher Court finds the trial Court made some errors it reverses the verdict and takes the case back to the lower Court for re-trial.


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