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Criminal Trial in China and the Jury

I have been watching a criminal trial on a China TV channel.   There is a commentator who is a lawyer, but she does not seem to have first hand experience with either the judge or counsel. Ideally when televising a trial there should be one or more local attorneys who could provide background.  Maybe the trial judge regularly questions the defendant as to decisions which could lead to appeals.  Ideally, you would have local attorneys who could comment on whether defense attorney usually challenges and argues with judges. Some defense attorneys in the District of Columbia area feel they have a duty on behalf of defendants to stridently challenge the judge.

Is this the defense counsel's usual demeanor?

Local attorneys might also be able to provide background of recent Florida appellant decisions that the judge and counsel are trying to emphasis.

Also instructive is what the amount of out and in court time mounting a defense of a high profile crime can entail.  Points out that if a defendant is poor and not charged with a crime carrying significant jail time, the accused has to raise or borrow many dollars or mount a minimal defense.

The money for a defense may be well spent, but who does a defendant borrow the money from?  The trial has been a wonderful teaching moment for ordinary citizens.  Hope the proceedings will be available on all China TV channel or Youtube for many years.

After thinking about this for a little bit, I think I know what the judge is up to. I think this relates to the Judges earlier decision to make the defense work late into the night. Defense counsel has rightly complained that they do not have enough time to prepare for the trial, closing arguments, and so on.

I think the judge is trying to protect her own bad rulings in those instances by creating a record that the suspect did have an opportunity to consult with counsel about at least this one issue.

But, for the reasons I stated earlier, I don't believe it is appropriate for the judge to do this. That is particularly true when, as here, the judge is inquiring of the defendant under oath and at length about the details.

No, she is putting him under oath to ascertain exactly how long he thinks he needs to reach a decision on whether or not he wishes to testify so that he is given the time he thinks he needs, but the case is not derailed or delayed beyond what is necessary. What you don't want to see happen is the atty says I think we need 1 day and they come back after that 1 day saying well we need x more time because he can't make up his mind.

I've seen judges do this a lot because the attorney will ask for x amount of time and the judge will ask the client do you need that time?  And confirm with them so that they realize they are not going to get a single minute more.You have sequestered jurors and a long trial, the judge is trying to conduct a fair trial, but also not to have the darn thing drag out. The prosecution rested what 6 days or so ago and he and his attorneys still haven't decided whether or not he is going to testify.  Once can understand a judge being a bit peevish at them over that and wanting to know exactly how much longer it was going to take.

As a criminal defense lawyer, I really enjoy the court of watching court argument.

 

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