Making it Stick: Protecting the Record for Appeal
Presented by Teresa M. Garvey, Attorney Advisor, AEquitas
Obtaining a conviction in a sexual assault, domestic violence, or human trafficking case is usually a hard-won victory, whether by guilty plea or by trial. Having a case reversed on appeal can result in a re-trial with stale evidence, reluctant witnesses, and a victim who is forced to re-live the case when she is finally beginning to heal. Though the appellate process is unavoidable, a prosecutor can bring a measure of finality to the criminal justice process by carefully building a strong and favorable trial court record that supports the conviction and the sentence imposed and withstands challenge on appeal. Trial error may be considered harmless in the context of a case with overwhelming evidence of guilt. The more admissible evidence secured during investigation, and the more admissible evidence presented at trial, the less likely it is that minor errors will result in reversal on appeal.
This presentation discussed the proper creation and protection of the record during all phases of a criminal case, focusing on investigation, charging, plea agreements, trial preparation and strategy, summation, and sentencing. It addressed pretrial motions, and trial briefs on anticipated trial problems, and demonstrated how strategic charging decisions can result in admission of evidence that might otherwise be excluded.
Allied justice system professionals including but not limited to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, probation and parole officers, and judges are encouraged to view this recording.
This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for one (1.0) hour of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.
Click here to view the recording of the February 21, 2014 webinar.
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