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Why does the prosecution usually win at a preliminary hearing?
prosecution usually wins at the preliminary hearing for a number of reasons:
burden of proof is fairly low. The prosecution does not have to demonstrate a
great deal in order to show probable cause that the defendant committed the
crime. As long as the evidence offered by the prosecution is enough to
logically justify a guilty verdict if the judge or jury believes it, the judge
will let the prosecution take the case to trial.
tend to defer to the prosecution at this stage, because the defendant is not
actually being tried.
prosecution usually can use evidence during the preliminary hearing (such as hearsay
evidence) that would not be allowed during a trial.
The defense typically
does not put up a strenuous fight at this stage, most often for strategic
reasons. Without putting on much or sometimes any evidence at all, it is
difficult for the defense to rebut (or challenge) the prosecution’s evidence sufficiently
to convince the judge to rule against the prosecution at this preliminary stage
of the proceedings
by: Sara J. Berman
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