View in Criminal Jury Trial
A view is when the jury is brought to a place where they are about to hear testimony during the trial. The judge has the discretion to allow a view if the judge finds it is appropriate for the case. Seeing that a view may take a lot of time and resources, judges tend to only allow them in limited situations. The point of a view is to allow the jury to get a better understanding of the evidence. The judge will tell the jury that what they see while going on a view is part of the case. Therefore, the jury may consider what they see as part of the evidence while deliberating the case.
The court arranges transportation for the view and ensures the safety of the jurors. The attorneys and judges also accompany the jurors during the view. The lawyers are allowed to point to certain parts of the place to draw the juror’s attention. However, the lawyers are prohibited from talking about the case or making arguments during the view. The defendant does not have a right to be at the view.
During the view, the jurors are prohibited from talking to each other. The jurors are also prohibited from going back to the place by themselves or doing independent research about the area.
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