You may only arrest ONE suspect.

Your warrant needs to include:

1) Who you are arresting and the charge  against them:

Intentional manslaughter: Suspect intentionally killed the victim in the heat of the moment. A crime of passion   without forethought.

2)  Probable cause: you must give the basic reasons that your chosen suspect may be guilty of the crime. Probable cause must be based on factual evidence from the case file and from your testing that you completed throughout the CSI unit.

Presentation Format

You will be presenting a case based on your evidence and test results to attempt to prove your hypothesis (prosecution) or disprove the opposing teams hypothesis (defense).  Remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The People must provide detailed evidence to convict a suspect and the defense must create a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of their suspect.

Your presentation is in the form of a case, you may use PowerPoint to show pictures, diagrams and citations of your evidence that is easy for the audience to see, but you may NOT USE text slides. (labels on graphs, diagrams and pictures are permitted)

The Trial – Roles

You and your group will need to fill the roles of: Lead attorney(s) and expert witness.  While we do not have any lay witnesses, members of your group will need to present testimony of an expert witness to explain any and all technical evidence in the case

Below you can see the roles; you will want to figure out which group members are going to fill each.  Members of your group can be assigned as expert witnesses in more than one category, but an attorney cannot be an expert witness.  Depending on the evidence in your case each of the roles of the expert witnesses may be larger or smaller.

Expert Witness – DNA

  • Must be micropipette certified and have been present and recorded notes on DNA electrophoresis
  • Will provide testimony on the DNA evidence found in the case
  • Must also explain the technical aspects of why the DNA matches (or does not match)
  • Must be prepared to answer and ask questions on technique

Expert Witnesses – Trace Evidence

  • Must be microscope certified if providing testimony on microscopic evidence
  • Will provide testimony on the identification of hairs, botanicals, fibers, chemical trace, water analysis, soils or any other trace evidence
  • Judge and Jury

    •  Your instructor will be the judge and will enforce the trial format
    • Classmates will be used as the jury

    Trial Format:

    Opening Statements

    • 2 minutes for prosecution opening statement
    • 2 minutes for defense opening statement

    Prosecution Presents Case

    Max 15 minutes for prosecution to present case

    • Overview of major events/timeline of the case
    • Testimony of teams expert witnesses (all physical evidence in the case must be presented in this manner) 

    Defense Cross Examination

    • Defense will have the opportunity to cross examine all expert witnesses by asking questions. 
    • All cross examination must be done in the form of a question


    Defense Presents Case

    Max 15 Minutes for defense to present case

    • May point out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and provide alternate hypothesis or suspects
    • Testimony of teams “expert witnesses” may be used to discredit evidence or provide evidence to exonerate the suspect, this evidence may point to another suspect, an accomplice or that the death may have been accidental or a suicide.  

    Prosecution Cross Examination

    • Prosecution will have the opportunity to cross examine all expert witnesses by asking questions
    • All cross examination must be done in the form of a question


    5 Minute recess

    Closing Arguments

    • 1 Minute for prosecutions summary
    • 2 Minute for defense summary
    • 1 Minute for prosecutions rebuttal


    Strategy:  Remember, you need to base your arguments on what may be supported by the physical evidence.  Also, since we will not have an actual person on hand as the suspect, be wary of overly emotional strategies, your strongest argument will be based on the evidence.

    Opening Statement: Attract the audience’s attention and make an impression about the guilt or innocence of the suspect.

    Cross Examination: Other groups will have an opportunity to attack and question your contentions and evidence.

    Closing Statement: Make your final case to the audience.  You may choose to do this by reiterating your arguments and/or instilling doubt about the opposing arguments. Summarize the case and conclude effectively.


    Image Credit:

    US Supreme Court Building, Image by Mike Renlund (Links to an external site.), from the Flickr Creative Commons

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