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One of the last stages of a trial, closing arguments are essentially a final summary of the factual and legal positions of the prosecution and defense.

As this is the last chance for each side to address the jury before deliberation, closing arguments represent the only remaining manner to influence the minds of the jurors. For a skilled defense attorney, closing arguments are the ultimate forum through which to persuade the jury that the prosecution has fallen short of its burden of proof.

Of course cases are not made in closing arguments, but a convincing close in a close trial can mean the difference between a victory and a loss.

When all these steps have been completed, the judge will instruct the jury on the law as it applies to the case at hand, essentially defining the elements the jury needs to take into consideration in order to arrive at their conclusion(s).

The judge will decide, based on the evidence, what legal standards apply to the case and pass those decisions onto the panel determining the outcome. Furthermore the judge will decide on what crimes and charges the jury will have to consider and deliberate upon, based on the evidence presented at trial.


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