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Inside Federal Court (Video)

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Intended to be viewed by children 10 years old and older who will be witnesses in a Federal court, this video explains the role of each participant in the trial process, with a focus on the role of the witness and what he/she is expected to do while on the witness stand.
After a brief introduction by Attorney General Janet Reno that emphasizes the importance of the witness' role in Federal court, two children narrate a tour of a Federal court and explain the roles of the various participants in the trial process. This encompasses the roles of the following court personnel: the prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant, judge, the U.S. Deputy Marshal, the court clerk, the court reporter, and the jury. Also explained is the importance of the introduction of evidence that is used by the prosecutor and defense attorney in order to persuade a jury or judge of the defendant's guilt or innocence. Particular attention is given to the testimony of a witness from the witness stand. Children are informed of the importance of telling the truth in responding to questions from the prosecutor and defense attorney. If they do not understand a question, they are encouraged to ask the questioner for clarification. They are also advised to consider their answers carefully in order to ensure that they are only providing information they believe to be true about what they have seen or heard, while acknowledging any uncertainty or lack of knowledge when answering a question. The video jacket outlines steps that the person in charge of the viewing session can do to enhance children's learning experience. These suggestions include what to do before, during, and after the children view the video; follow-up activities; and points children should consider before going to court.