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Criminal Trial

Civil Versus Criminal Trends, The Atmosphere Surrounding The Trial, The Steps In A Criminal Trial

Criminal trials have always held a special fascination for Americans and have furnished the plots for numerous books, plays, films, and television shows. Although civil trials can occasionally be of broad general interest, violations of criminal law frequently arouse strong popular emotions. Not surprisingly, horrific crimes are frequently front-page features in the newspapers. Trials that retell those crimes are often likely to be of interest to the public. To the extent that such trials deal with basic human weaknesses such as greed, anger, or jealousy, they frequently recount a fascinating tale.

In recent years, through changes in trial rules in some states, the American public has been able to get beyond newspaper coverage of criminal trials and actually watch selected criminal trials on television. Some of these trials have proven very controversial and have sparked considerable interest in our criminal trial system.



Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972).

Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609 (1965).

In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970).

Lowenfeld v. Phelps, 484 U.S. 231, 235 (1988).

Rideau v. Louisiana, 373 U.S. (1963).

Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966).

United States v. Spock, 416 F.2d 165 (1st Cir. 1969).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law