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#1 Enoise

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 09:13 PM

Hi everyone, Please, please, please, I need help concerning this.
I'm confused of the Judge's wordings in a Judge trial arraignment (not jury) when she is reading the charges to the defendant. I have a little idea of it, but I don't know if it goes that way.
Here is what I think:
"I, my honourable self, Justice Abbe Momoh, standing under the authority of Lagos state Nigeria, present that you, Tony Fayemi Djebah, a native of the state and country, deliberately and feloniously attempt to murder the person of George Olufemi Anderson, on the seventeenth day of August in an unnamed cherry orchard."

I'm not sure if that's the way the judge would address herself. And please I would want to know if there is any more detail I should add.
Thanks.

#2 annab3lla

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 10:21 AM

I have never heard a Judge call herself "my honourable self" before. I don't practice in criminal law, so I can't tell you about the arraignment generally, but I think it would sound more realistic if you took out the "my honourable self".



#3 Enoise

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:11 PM

Thanks anabella. I can now see through your eyes.

#4 E.B. Black

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 03:04 AM

My father is a retired judge, he retired last month. And while I can't say that I know a ton because I didn't sit around and watch all his trials, I'm still pretty sure that the judge doesn't refer to themselves at all. They would say "The court finds Tony..." Not "I find Tony...." And it would be more detached, like not addressing the defendent directly. No "you." They might not even use the name, they might just call him the "defendant." And it would be briefer, like "The court finds the defendant guilty of all charges" or maybe they would list the specific charges, but probably not the location.

 

Of course, your story takes place in Nigeria, so they may say things completely different there.


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#5 Enoise

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:14 PM

Thank you, E.B Black.

#6 atw

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:40 AM

I agree with E.B.; a Judge doesn't refer to themselves during trial. Especially where a jury is concerned, but even in a non-juried triel, it's "the court finds," "the court is in favor of," etc. Further, there's not nearly that much detail when delivering a verdict. First the jury delivers their own verdict, "The jury finds the defendant innocent/guilty of all charges." Then the judge closes with, "The court finds the defendant guilty of all charges. The court finds in favor of the defendant. "

 

I don't know about Nigeria, so if you really want a spot-on answer with cultural realism you might try pinpointing your search towards people who do, but I've got a year of experience working second chair for a criminal defense lawyer in the USA.



#7 Enoise

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:21 PM

Thanks, Atw, but the judge is not actually reading the verdict, she is reading the charges laid against the defendant, like what is done at an initial appearance or an arraignment. Then after it all, she would ask the defendant if he wishes to plead guilty or non-guilty.

Thanks, though.

 



#8 E.B. Black

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:34 PM

For a huge crime, like a murder, first they find out whether or not the defendent is guilty or not guilty, without discussing the charges at all, then later, IF and only if the defendent is found guilty, the jury later discusses or the judge later decides what the charges will be. There's no discussion of charges until the guilty or not guilty verdict is settled first.


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#9 Enoise

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 02:05 AM

Thanks E.B, maybe my question was not well constructed, but what the judge is reading is actually the true bill. The defendant has already been indicted of those charges. The judge is now reading the charges of which the defendant was indicted of.

#10 annab3lla

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:32 AM

For a huge crime, like a murder, first they find out whether or not the defendent is guilty or not guilty, without discussing the charges at all, then later, IF and only if the defendent is found guilty, the jury later discusses or the judge later decides what the charges will be. There's no discussion of charges until the guilty or not guilty verdict is settled first.

 

EB, I think you mean "sentence" not "charges". The charges are what is laid by the police. Then the arraignment. Then the trial and conviction (or not) by a Judge or Jury. Then the sentencing.



#11 MelissaA

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

Okay, I don't know if this will help, but I have a trial in the book I wrote and this is what I write:

 

Mr. Palmer, Mr. Jackson, we will read the charges to you. This is a trial on a felony. You have chosen, during your preliminary arraignment, to submit to this court the plea of not guilty. It is charged that on October 24th, 2014, you did unlawfully and feloniously, in violation of N.J.S.A. Criminal Statue 2C: 14-2 of the Code of New Jersey, commit aggravated sexual assault through rape by having sexual intercourse with K.M. born 10.12.1996. Such act was accomplished against the victim’s will by force, threat, or intimidation as well as by being aided or abetted by one or more other persons.

 

Like I said, I don't know if that was helpful as I'm not exactly sure what stage of the trial you're writing about. I mirrored what I wrote from a non-fiction book about law, so I'm hoping it's alright, but I can't promise anything.






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