How are criminal cases tried?

Criminal cases are very similar to civil cases, except instead of a plaintiff, there is a prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney may represent either the Commonwealth (the state) or a city, county or town.

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1. What are my responsibilities now that I’m part of a jury?
2. What is a “question of law”?
3. What is a “question of fact”?
4. Who else will be in the courtroom? What will they be doing?
5. What happens during a civil trial?
6. What are Jury Instructions?
7. Who awards damages in a civil case?
8. How are criminal cases tried?
9. What are the two types of criminal cases?
10. Who sets the punishment in a criminal case?
11. Why do the attorneys object to certain statements or evidence?
12. Why is the jury sometimes asked to leave the courtroom in the middle of a trial?
13. What should I do when testimony is stricken from the record?
14. Can I talk to anyone about the trial while it is going on?
15. Can I watch news reports of the trial or read newspaper accounts of it?
16. What if I accidentally hear something about the trial outside the courtroom, or if someone contacts me about the trial while it is still going on, or if I realize during the trial that I have some spe
17. What if I need a break during the trial?