A Prosecutor’s Role in the U.S. Judicial System
The leading role in the U.S. trials has the prosecutor, who always represents the side of prosecution. His mission not only to persuade the jurors of the government’s case that the defendant has committed a crime, but also to assure that no innocent person is wrongly convicted.
The Five main steps of the U.S. trial includes: jury selection, opening statement, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing argument.
At trial the prosecutor represents the government and proves the defendant is guilty of the crime charged.
During the jury selection the judge invites about 40 jurors into the courtroom so that 12 fair jurors can be selected. The prosecutor can ask the jurors questions: has the potential juror ever had any bad experiences with the police, or has him or has a family member been wrongfully convicted of a crime? If a juror answers yes to these questions, then the prosecutor will ask follow-up questions to find out if the juror can still be fair given his or her experience.
The next stage is opening statement, prosecutor tells the jury about the evidence he will show them in order to prove the defendant’s guilt.
The prosecutor during the direct examination calls witnesses who can tell the jury what they saw or heard that proves that the defendant is guilty. The prosecutor will also show the witness photographs, documents, diagrams, and objects for the witness to identify that prove the defendant committed the crime. Also the prosecutor has the right through cross-examination to ask the witnesses questions challenging their truthfulness.
At the end of the process the prosecutor gives the closing argument and tells the speech, where the prosecutor summarizes what the witnesses have told and shown the jury and then argues why the defendant should be convicted.
The prosecutor’s role is to seek justice so that no innocent person is wrongfully convicted.