Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
In the American court system, the trial process is based on the adversarial system. Lawyers bring the evidence to the jury that has been presented by the investigators. The prosecuting attorney is the state or federal attorney that will be bringing the charges against the defendant. The defense attorney will take the other side. The adversarial system hinges on the fact that the truth is best served by the evidence itself. Attorneys are involved in determining the issue to be disputed and they also figure out the best way to argue the case of the side that they are representing. The most pivotal role is that of the judge. The judge is paramount in ensuring that the trial is fair and to make unbiased decisions at the end of the trial. Their decision is based on the evidence brought forth by the two teams of lawyers. During the opening statements, both sides are given a chance to start the arguments that will uphold their viewpoints on the case. After the opening statements, then both sides are given a chance to provide the reasoning that their side is the right side of the law.
During the trial, the evidence will be presented and witnesses will be called for both sides, the prosecution and the defense. During the questioning phase, leading questions are used and most of the time, not allowed. This is considered “leading a witness”, and not allowed. The witness should be able to answer the questions put down by the attorney with either a yes or no answer. With everything that is going on, the judge wants the witnesses to give only information that will help in proving the guilt or innocence of a defendant.
Christopher George Latore Wallace a.k.a. “Notorious B.I.G.” or “Biggie Smalls” was born May 21, 1972 and died March 9, 1997 from injuries that he received from a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, CA. Biggie was a rapper and was well known in the bi-coastal feud going on between the East and the West coast hip-hop scenes. Other rappers that were involved with Biggie were Tupac Shakur (who died 6 months earlier than Biggie), Sean “Puffy” Combs, Lil Kim and Lil Cease. In his short career, Biggie was very successful with many platinum albums before his death and numerous posthumous albums and awards. These people would be used for the prosecution because they were in the vehicle that Biggie was driving in when he was shot and killed.
The night of his death, the streets of LA were overcrowded with people leaving a very large industry event. Biggie’s SUV stopped at a red light outside of the venue at the corner of S. Fairfax Ave. and Wilshire Blvd. A dark Chevy Impala showed up directly beside Biggie’s SUV. The driver of the Impala was dressed in a blue suit and a bow tie, indicative of his presence at a posh event. The driver rolled down his window and shot Biggie with a 9 mm blue steel pistol at least 4 times. The injured Biggie was rushed to Cedar Sinai Medical Center where doctors worked into the night to save his life. They did an emergency thoracotomy, but Biggie was pronounced dead