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Monday, August 3, 2020

The Purpose of the Criminal Trial

The criminal trial, as designed, is not the most efficient method of getting to the factual truth of a matter. Too much relevant evidence is excluded from the jury to make this the main purpose of the procedure. The principal goal of a trial, at least in theory, is not to produce information, but to produce due process and justice for the accused. Prosecutors, as officers of the court, have a legal and ethical duty not to pursue defendants in cases involving weak or exonerating evidence. But some do, because regardless of the lack of evidence, their priority involves convicting the defendant at any cost. In reality, criminal trials are about winning and losing.

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