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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78197 Find in a Library
Title: Law of Cross-examination (Impeachment) (From Trial Techniques A Compendium of Course Materials, P 225-255, 1980 - See NCJ-78190)
Author(s): W Emmons; E M McCann; S M Fallis; J J Ferruzzo
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National College of District Attorneys
Houston, TX 77004
Sale Source: National College of District Attorneys
College of Law
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77004
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These four papers tell prosecutors how to prepare for and conduct cross-examinations.
Abstract: Purposes of cross-examination include impeachment of the defense witness or, if the testimony turns out to be favorable to the prosecutor's case, underscoring the testimony. Pretrial preparation is advised. For example, one paper recommends that such sources as the defendant's prior criminal records, probation reports, and booking information be studied. The paper also suggests how the prosecutor may use the voir dire process and the opening statement to orient the jury as to what may or may not occur during cross-examination. Helpful cross-examination strategies are suggested. One paper suggests that strategies should vary according to the type of the defendant or the witness. Possible types include the loquacious defendant, the honest witness, and the clergyman as a witness. For example, when cross-examining a clergyman testifying about the defendant's character, the prosecutor should point out that it is the clergyman's life's work to protect the souls of the people belonging to the parish. Advice on when not to cross-examine is also given. For example, it may be better not to cross-examine a strong witness. Relevant case law is discussed.
Index Term(s): Course materials; Cross-examination; Prosecutors; Reference materials; Trial preparation; Witnesses
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