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Criminal Trial Observation

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Assignment 3
The Court: 19th Judicial Circuit Court of Cole County MO
Court Address: 301 E High St Jefferson City Mo 65101
Court Telephone: (573) 634-9150
Date of Court Visit: September 21, 2015
Name of Case: State of Missouri v. Steidley
Subject of case: (retrial) 2nd degree arson
I went to the Cole County Courthouse to observe a criminal jury trial that involved a retrial for second degree arson. I was able to be a part of the jury selection proceedings. I witnessed what kinds of questions that are asked of the potential jurors and to see how people respond or act when they are put on the spot about their personal beliefs about certain things. This was a very interesting proceeding for me as I have never been selected for jury duty and have only seen it on television. My first impression of the courtroom happened for me a little over a year ago when I was sitting in here for an issue with my juvenile son. I was scared to death then. This time I am much more relaxed, just knowing I am here to observe the proceedings about to take place and that there is nothing personal toward me. There is a kind of elegance to the decorations even though the temperature is very cold. There is a faux balcony painted to make the second story look more open. There are two sections of benches that are for spectators to sit in as well as friends and family or witnesses. The jury box is to the right of the doors and has twelve chairs for the selected jurors. In the middle of the room is a long wooden table with six chairs that are for the defendant and his defense team and the prosecution. In the front, off to the left side of the room, is the Judges bench and to the left is the box and chair for the bailiff. To the immediate right is the court reporter then next to her is the witness stand. It is actually a fairly small room considering such big, life changing decisions are…...

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