12 dec Where Does the Witness Stand in Court
Another important part of preparing for the process is to read each written report about the case. On the basis of the information contained in the reports and the information provided by witnesses, the prosecutor investigates the facts. The prosecution must also provide the accused with copies of the documents and evidence it intends to use in the trial. This process is called discovery and continues from the beginning of the case until the time of trial. A prosecutor is also required to provide the accused with documents and other information that may affect the case. If the prosecutor fails to do so, he may suspend the fines or sanctions imposed by the court. In addition, the prosecutor is obliged to provide the defence with evidence that could harm his case, so-called exculpatory evidence. This evidence could demonstrate the innocence of the accused. If the prosecution does not provide it to the defence, it may demand a new trial. Between the judges` bench, the jury pavilion and the lawyers` tables is a large vacant space. Lawyers often turn to the judge or jury or question witnesses from the field, and you can see a panel available to lawyers. Behind the court well is the dock where the accused will sit during the trial. Depending on the style of the courtroom, the jury box is located to the right or left of the courthouse.
Scotland is unique in the Western world because it has 15 judges. In order to avoid surprises in the trial and to determine which of the witnesses should be called to testify, the prosecutor speaks to each witness to find out what he can say during the trial. These conversations help the prosecutor decide who to call as a witness in court. There is usually free space between the bench and the lawyers` tables, due to the clerk`s and court reporter`s tables in front of the bank and the jury box on the side. This room is called the fountain. It is extremely disrespectful to the court when people who are not clerks “cross the well” directly without permission – that is, approach the bench directly on the other side of the well – and some courts have rules that expressly prohibit it.  If, on the other hand, documents are to be given to or taken from the judge, lawyers must usually contact the clerk or bailiff acting as an intermediary. During the trial, the lawyers will ask the court for permission to cross the well or approach the bank for “parallel conferences” with the judge. Next, you need to know if the witness is willing to testify in court. Many people like to talk one-on-one about a situation, but don`t want to testify in court. If a witness does not want to testify, you may need to receive a subpoena. A subpoena is a court order that causes a person to testify in court.
Once you know who your witnesses will be, you may need to tell the other party. This often happens when discovering with a list of witnesses. Depending on state laws and the type of court case you`re in, some courts allow you to call witnesses without a list. As an architect involved in courthouse planning and courtroom design analysis, I understand that attention to specific aspects of courtroom layout and design can influence how future participants in court proceedings may perceive each other and can help generate appropriate responses from each participant. The walls are often partially or completely paneled. It`s a matter of style and tradition, but some jurisdictions have chosen to build courtrooms with a more modern look. Some courtrooms are little more than a surveillance camera that broadcasts proceedings in a correctional facility elsewhere to protect the court from violent defendants watching the proceedings on television in a prison conference room and communicating in duplex with the judge and other court officials. Many courtrooms are equipped with a speaker system that allows the judge to flip a switch to create white noise during conversations with lawyers, preventing the jury and viewers from hearing what is being discussed outside of the recording.
It is important not to place the witness too close to the jury, as a witness may be hostile to some jurors who are nearby. It is also important that there is a physical barrier in the form of a low wall between the witness and the judge. The jury box is located along one side of the fountain. It is easy to spot as there are usually 2-3 rows of about 12 cushioned chairs located in a large railing or partial enclosure. There is often a door near the jury box, and jurors can use this door to leave the courtroom after a trial when they go to another room to deliberate.