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A bail constitutes any property of the accused that could be seized by the state to act as security for the suspects. A bail is specifically meant to compel the accused to make appearance in court as demanded by the court for all further proceedings which may include trial and sentencing stages. On the other hand, there is also a bail bond that is basically a mutual agreement with the master of bail bonds that involves them placing bail money in return for legal fees. Conventionally, there is never any guarantee that one would be released on bail. As such, it remains up to the judge to rule that the accused could flee from the jurisdiction of the court and that they do deserve or not to be granted a bail. Other instances that could cause the denial of release on a bail are cases that are deemed too serious to attract a bail deposit or when the bail could be set at a figure too high for the accused to possibly afford. However, in less serious cases, a person who is socially established with a family or have a stable job could be released on much less bond considering that chances they would not cooperate are quite low. In very rare instances, a defendant could be released without any need to deposit a bond in a court provision known as “release on one’s own recognizance” (David, 2002).
Plea Negotiations and Trial
The legal team of the defendant may seek to negotiate with the prosecution for the possibility of securing a plea bargain. This provision basically involves the accused pleading guilty to charges that would attract less severe penalties than those mentioned in the complaint. This could actually see the prosecution recommend a sentence that is commensurate to charges which the accused has pleaded guilty. However, there are instances where the court of law may place it as a requirement that the accused persons personally “recite the factual basis of the plea. In case the prosecutor and the defendant are unable to reach a plea agreement, then the criminal proceedings move on to the trial stage. However, this stage must be conducted much more speedily unless the defendant requests for a waiver for them to adequately prepare their defense. The constitution grants every citizen accused of any crime of felony to be tried by a jury unless they prefer a judge to single handedly do the fact finding duties of the jury. Besides, the defendant as well as the prosecution could object to the choice of jurors to determine the case (Samuel, 1977).
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The Verdict and Appeal
Once the jury has heard the submissions of both the prosecution and the defendant, they are required by law to retreat to a private place for minutes of weeks where they would attempt to reach a verdict. When this is finally done, the jury would then read their findings in an open court to the defendant. At this point, a defendant who has been found guilty of some or all charges leveled against them could decide to seek redress in an appellate court. In most states, the appellate system is divided into a multi level system whereby the middle one reserves the right to hear all the appeals that are directly emanating from the high court (Mark, 2004).
The criminal justice system at the state level has certainly served the citizens of the United States well. However, stiffer provisions have to be put in place to ensure the legal rights of the accused persons are not violated. The way they are treated at every stage should portray them as innocent personalities as they are yet to be proved guilty.
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