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NCJ Number: 78198 Find in a Library
Title: Closing Argument (From Trial Techniques - A Compendium of Course Materials, P 259-283, 1980 - See NCJ-78190)
Author(s): S M Fallis; J R Allison; W Emmons; P A Williams; J M Roll
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 25
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 five papers are designed to aid prosecutors in the structuring and delivery of the closing argument in a trial.
Abstract: Purposes of the closing argument include winning the goodwill of the jury, explaining the State's case, and motivating the jury to act on behalf of the prosecutor's case. Suggested content of the closing argument is also discussed. For example, the traditional approach is first to discuss the evidence and then to include an emotional appeal and recommend punishment. Changes in this approach and inclusion of remarks of the defense attorney may also be appropriate. One paper offers content suggestions depending on specific cases (such as the identification case, the alibi defense, and the lesser included offense). For example, in the case of alibi defense the prosecutor should create a dichotomy and ask the jury to choose only one of the two opposing possibilities. The prosecutor should also make clear that the existence of conflicting evidence is not equivalent to reasonable doubt and that the jury's function is to resolve the issue of credibility. Among recommendations regarding delivering the argument are that the prosecutor maintain eye contact with the jury and not read the argument. Relevant case law is discussed.
Index Term(s): Course materials; Prosecutors; Reference materials; Trial procedures
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