There is a thing known as a jury trial process that is supposed to happen in every jury trial case. Although, not followed perfectly in the jury trial of Carl Lee it is followed pretty well for a movie. The jury trial process is as follows; a crime is commited, an investigation is conducted, a warrant is issued, then the arrest is made, once arrested the criminal is booked, then they have their bail hearing.
Following the bail hearing the preliminary arraignment happens these are when the informal charges are presented, after that comes the preliminary hearing this is where the court reviews the evidence to make sure there is enough evidence for a case to occur. If there is enough evidence they move on to the formal indictment where the criminal makes their plea. Last step before the trial is the pretrial conference where a plea bargain may occur, a continuance, or list for trial. Lastly, after all these steps comes the trial.
Not only is there a order of things before the trial there is also steps to follow once you’ve reached the trial process. In this process the first step is selection of the jury, after the jury is selected the trial date is set and they begin trial. The defense and prosecution start with opening statements, then the prosecution presents their evidence with things such as witnesses. Once they have finished with their evidence the defense then proceeds to present their evidence.
When all the evidence is finished being presented the closing arguments occur, the jury is instructed by the judge, they deliberate, come up with a verdict, lastly, the judge sentences. For Carl Lee’s case it starts out with his daughter, she is brutally raped and killed by two rednecks. The rednecks, on there way into the courthouse, are shot and killed by Lee along with an escorting officer who was shot in the leg on accident. As for the investigation it was not really shown, but what would happen is they would talk to witnesses, recover the murder weapon (they do), perform an autopsy, recover bullets, etc.
When they show up to Lee’s house he casually walks outside says goodbye to his family tells all them he loves them, proceeds to walk past the cap and into the car. This is not what should have happened at all, in this case the cops should have taken the correct safety precautions. They should have positioned themselves safely outside the house with guns drawn and called him out, but they did not do that nor did they handcuff him. After the arrest comes the booking process which was also not really shown in this process they would take his picture, ID him, get his prints, pull up priors, and in-process him.
In the movie the producers decided to combine the bail hearing and preliminary hearing. During the bail hearing is when the judge decides to post-bail, no-bail, or release on recognizance. Lee gets no-bail due to the severity of the crime he had committed which makes perfect sense. For the preliminary arraignment and preliminary hearing there is no clear steps in the movie so instead I’m going to go over what should have happened. In the preliminary arraignment they would have gave him his informal charges and gave him an idea of what he was being charged with.
Then, the preliminary hearing would occur where they would decide if there wa enough evidence for a case or not and the magistrate would hear this at the courthouse. As for the formal indictment Lee is charged with 2 counts of murder and 1 count of attempted murder, in the indictment Lee and his defense decides to plead insanity. Pretrial conference would be next, but there is no clear conference, Lee is listed for trial. Now comes the trial the most important part of the movie. As I stated before there are also steps for the trial and they are followed pretty well and clearly in the movie.
The selection of the jury comes first; the defense attempts to get young men under the age of 50 with a family, they go back and forth getting rid of people they don’t want. After the jury is all selected we get into the actual trial, finally. In the opening statements the prosecution goes first basically giving an overview of why to convict him and some evidence Following that, the prosecution opens with basically the same thing overviewing the case and why they can’t convict him. Now it’s time for the actual evidence and witnesses.
The prosecution calls Mrs. Cobb, one of the victim’s mom, she says he was 23 when he was killed and she saw him die. As for the defense they attempt to ask her how many people her son raped or kidnapped in the 23 years he was alive. The judge instructs her not to answer that question and the prosecution’s objection is accepted, the jury is also told to disregard the last question. The second witness is Sheriff Walls who is black, which is important because blacks tend to help out other blacks as you’ll see. Prosecution just asks the sheriff to I.
D. the murder weapon and to tell whether or not the prints matched the prints of Lee and they did. Next, the defense asks the sheriff arrested Cobb before the murder and he said yes for rape and attempted murder. The rednecks also signed a paper saying that they did do both of those things which the sheriff was not supposed to say yes to, but he did. The jury was instructed by the judge to disregard, but that’s hard to do once he said yes. The third witness is Deputy Looney who was shot by Lee in his act of killing the rednecks.
Prosecution questions first asking if he was present at the shooting he says yes, he then asks him how he was shot and he answers by saying I think a bullet bounced off the ground and hit me. They ask him is he got a clear shot at the shooter and the Deputy says no I did not, but that Lee went and apologized to him in the hospital basically admitting it was him. Now it’s the defense’s turn they ask him if he believes Lee should be convicted of his crimes and he says no he should not becuase he would have done the same exact thing Lee did and that Lee is a hero. He proceeds to yell out repeatedly he is a hero.
The 4th witness is Dr. Roadheaver, the prosecution questions first. They ask him if Carl Lee was insane at the time of the murder he says no a person must be able to decide right from wrong and understand legal consequences and Carl Lee could do this at the time he shot the men. The cross by the defense was very good, they asked him if he’s ever found someone insane and they don’t give a clear answer so the defense states he has never found someone insane. Then, they state that in the one case he was involved him he found someone sane the jury disagreed and found him insane.
The same man was then treated in the doctors mental institution so the defense asks if he would ever provide service to a sane man and he says of course not. The 5th witness is doctor Bass, he is called by the defense. He says Carl Lee was insane the events that happened with his daughter cause him to have a relapse making him insane at the time of the killing. Prosecution digs deep to provide the jury with the fact that Bass was convicted of statutory rape earlier in his life and he pled guilty. Lastly, Carl Lee is called to the stand to be questioned by the defense.
They ask how he felt and he said like I was outside of my own body, “I kept hearing my daughter’s voice over and over”. Then, the prosecution asks him a couple questions they proceed to ask him if the punishment they would have received was fit for what they did. They get him very worked up and he ends of yelling and saying hell no they deserve to rot in hell. The prosecution then directs towards the jury and says there you go it’s clear Lee thought the law wasn’t enough so he took matters into his owns hands.
Last, the closing statements are presented by both sides. The closing statements is probably what wins the case for the defense. The prosecution’s is boring and they say no one has the right to kill someone, the defense could provide one person to say Carl Lee Hayley was insane and he was a convicted felon. Then comes jakes; He starts by apologizing for his little experience ands says to decide with your heart. He proceeds to tell them a story; “Close your eyes. Imagine a little girl walking home from the grocery store when two men pull over in a truck nd snatch her up, tie her up, and rip her clothes from her body one after another repeatedly raping her.
Then, when they are done use her for target practice tearing all of her flesh to the bones, urinate on her, then comes the hanging. The branch is too weak and she falls back to the earth. They pick her up take her to Foggy Creek bridge and throw her off the edge, falling 30 feet she hits the bottom. Broken body soaked in their urine, their semine, and her blood. Now picture this little girl white. ” This closing statement wins the case for them and Carl Lee is innocent due to insanity.