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Meeting Defenses (From Trial Techniques - A Compendium of Course Materials, P 141-194, 1980 - See NCJ-78190)

NCJ Number
W J Kunkle; R L Strohm; J B Carey
Date Published
52 pages
These three papers tell prosecutors how to anticipate and counter defenses including entrapment, self-defense, consent in rape cases, alibi, and duress.
All the papers emphasize the importance of preparation prior to the trial to allow the prosecutor to anticipate and counter defenses before or at the charging stage and to eliminate or minimize some defenses. For example, the addition of a conspiracy charge may discourage the defense of accident by allowing the introduction of hearsay statements of coconspirators when they are unavailable for trial. With regard to the self-defense argument, it is recommended that it be proved to the jury that the defendant has used excessive and unnecessary force. The relationship between the size, weight, strength, intoxication level, aggressiveness, and type of weapons used by the parties is crucial. One paper devoted solely to the alibi defense points out that often an alibi witness is deceived by the defendant into thinking that the situation about which the testimony is delivered occurred at the exact time of the commission of the crime. Thus, cross-examination should relate to the circumstances surrounding the defendant's request of the witness to testify. Relevant case law is discussed. One paper includes 74 notes containing references.


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