|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Criminal law Criminal justice|
The murder of Christopher Wallace, also known as Notorious B.I.G, in 9th March 1997 triggered some controversies. This is due to the alleged involvement of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the rapper's brutal murder. The family of the deceased brought a wrongful death suit against the LAPD. However, the Court declared a mistrial, holding that there was intentional concealment of material information by the LAPD in relation to the murder (Correspondence, 2006). Therefore, it is significant to understand the trial process adhered in B.I.G. CASE by examining possible opening and closing declarations and the kind of questions inquired on direct examination as well as essential cross-examination points.
As to the witnesses that would aid the prosecution in proving its case, the mother of the deceased, among the two persons who accompanied the deceased in his car, as well as the driver, "G-Money" Young would be a good choice as they would speak to what happened on a material day (Correspondence, 2006). Similarly, Eugene deal, Puffy Comb's former bodyguard would help in drawing a nexus between the death of the deceased and Amir Muhammad, the alleged killer. For the defense, the principal witnesses would be members of the LAPD, especially Benard Packs, who would be able to give the rationale behind directing the investigating officer to cease all investigations against the suspected killers of the deceased and probably show that the claims by the victim's family are devoid of foundation.
The criminal process has some critical stages (Navickiene, 2013). It begins from trial initiation and plea taking, then proceeds to the selection of the members making opening statements by the parties' counsel, presentation of evidence, and ends with closing arguments (Black, 2013). Closing arguments are a stage which parties' counsel highlight their critical submissions to the Court and the jury (Bruno, 2018). The jury retires to deliberate and finally, renders a verdict, in favor of either of the parties.
At the opening statement stage of the trial, the prosecution and the defense highlight the main facts, evidence and arguments they intend to make during the case (Caswell & Suntum, 2013). A good opening statement for the prosecution in the B.I.G trial would be that "This is a case of abuse of public trust. It is a case where those obligated to protect civilians breach public trust and instead, work with gangsters. The prosecution shall demonstrate that the deceased was murdered by members of the LAPD, in conjunction Death Row Records and that there are sufficient grounds for the jury to convict the accused persons."
A closing statement, on the other hand, is made at the end of the trial, at which point both counsels for the prosecution sum up their case by tying all the evidence adduced during the trial to the arguments and theories presented (Bruno, 2018). At this point, they urge the Court and the jury to find in their client's favor. A closing statement for the prosecution in the B.I.G case would be "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, too much information has been presented before you regarding the murder of the deceased herein. From the evidence, it is now clear, more than ever before, that the accused members of the LAPD intentionally colluded with the Death Row Records to cause the death of the deceased. I urge you to do the fair thing and convict the accused persons in this case."
Direct examination of witnesses is done when the witnesses start their testimony. They are asked by the party calling those witnesses to testify in favor of their case. The aim of asking such questions is to elicit specific evidence that would aid the Court in deciding of the issues before it (Kebbell & Caitriona, 2007). These questions, however, should not be closed-ended and should allow witnesses to give their account of events relating to the case before Court. In cross-examination, witnesses are examined by the opposing party to ensure that the evidence they provide is valid and reliable. As such, any contradictions emerging from cross-examination could render the evidence given unreliable or lower its probative value. Unlike direct examination, parties and their lawyers have the liberty to pose leading questions, identify only one fact per question, and make sure every question results in a particular objective during cross-examination.
In any criminal justice, there must be a clear trial process to be followed to ensure that the court arrives at the right decision according to the evidence presented just like in the B.I.G Case. Among the components of the trial process are opening and closing declarations, as well as different forms questions, inquired on direct examination and cross-examination. Therefore, these components are essential as they helped the court in the B.I.G Case to make the judgment that there was intentional concealment of material information by the LAPD in relation to the murder of Notorious B.I.G.
Black, N. (2013, May 13). Commentary: Book review: Paperno's 'representing the accused' a step-by-step guide for public defenders. Daily Record Retrieved from https://libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/docview/1352971541?accountid=34544
Bruno, T. (2018, Apr 27). Criminal practice -constitutional due process closing arguments opening statement. South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Retrieved from https://libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/docview/2033559584?accountid=34544
Caswell, B. L., & Suntum, J. P. (2013). Opening statements in eminent domain cases. The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, 29(2), 21-27. Retrieved from https://libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/docview/1663351658?accountid=34544
Correspondence. (2006, Jan 26). Rolling Stone, 6. Retrieved from https://libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/docview/220190203?accountid=34544
Kebbell, M. R., & Caitriona M.E. O'Kelly. (2007). Police detectives' perceptions of giving evidence in court. Policing, 30(1), 8-20. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/10.1108/13639510710725596
Navickiene, Z. (2013). Former and current concepts of the pre-trial investigation organization. Internal Security, 5(1), 173-185. Retrieved from https://libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/docview/1425864332?accountid=34544
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