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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 68080 Find in a Library
Title: CROSS-EXAMINATION
Journal: CRIMINAL DEFENSE NEWSLETTER  Volume:3  Issue:2  Dated:(NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1979)  Pages:1-6
Author(s): S C RENCH
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TACTICS, STRATEGIES, CONDUCT, AND PREPARATIONS FOR CROSS-EXAMINATION THAT ARE EFFECTIVE FOR THE DEFENSE ARE PRESENTED.
Abstract: A PLANNED, DISCIPLINED, SAFE, AND EFFECTIVE CROSS-EXAMINATION MUST INCLUDE THE OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE OF ADVANCING THE TRIAL PLAN BY GETTING FAVORABLE MATERIAL TO BE USED IN THE CLOSING ARGUMENT. THE EXAMINER MUST DEVELOP A REPERTOIRE OF DEVICES AND TECHNIQUES AND ADAPT THEM TO EACH CROSS-EXAMINATION. THE EXAMINATION MUST BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY SOUND, USING A SEQUENCE OF QUESTIONS WHICH WILL PRODUCE THE DESIRED TESTIMONY. THE DEFENSE SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON GETTING FAVORABLE FACTS, REMAINING CONSERVATIVE, CONSIDERING THE OPTION OF NO CROSS-EXAMINATION, AVOIDING AIMLESS QUESTIONING, AND NOT REPEATING DIRECT TESTIMONIES. ATTORNEYS SHOULD REFRAIN FROM QUESTIONS THAT DO NOT PRODUCE BENEFICIAL ANSWERS; THEY SHOULD NOT ARGUE WITH THE WITNESS OR ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS. THE DEFENSE COUNSEL SHOULD DEAL WITH FACTS, AVOID JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS, DECIDE ON A PARTICULAR APPROACH, AND PUT THE CROSS-EXAMINATION IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE SEQUENCE. CONTROLLING THE WITNESS CAN BE BROUGHT ABOUT BY TRAINING THE WITNESS, USING UNAMBIGUOUS AND SHORT QUESTIONS, USING LEADING QUESTIONS, AND MAKING A FRIEND OF THE WITNESS BEFORE THE TESTIMONY. MOREOVER, THE ENTIRE CROSS-EXAMINATION SHOULD END ON A HIGH NOTE AND BE SUSTAINED THROUGHOUT WITH ONGOING MOMENTUM. TACTICS THAT CAN BE USED INCLUDE BACKING THE WITNESS DOWN, MINIMIZING UNFAVORABLE EVIDENCE, AND ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT FRINGE MATTERS. AN ATTORNEY CAN USE A NO-PROOF WEDGE (STRETCHING THE LITTLE AVAILABLE INFORMATION AS FAR AS POSSIBLE) OR A WEDGE WITH PROOF (LETTING THE WITNESS KNOW THE PROOF AND THUS ELICITING THE WHOLE STORY). FURTHER STRATEGIES INCLUDE SETTING TRAPS, CROSS-EXAMINING AS TO PROBABILITIES, CREATING AN UNFAVORABLE IMPRESSION OF THE WITNESS, CHANNELING QUESTIONS, SHADING ANSWERS, EXPOSING FALLACIES IN LOGIC, FAKING THE WITNESS, LEADING THE WITNESS TO SAY 'I DON'T KNOW', AND UNDERMINING A WITNESS'S TESTIMONY.
Index Term(s): Courtroom decorum; Cross-examination; Defense preparation; Testimony; Trial preparation; Trial procedures; Witnesses
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68080

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