Trayvon Martin

USA: The Zimmerman Trial: Reflections of an Adversarial Criminal Justice System?

“You must always point […] If you don’t have the courage to point […] you can’t expect them to have the courage to convict.”[1] Perhaps no other criminal justice system in the world better exemplifies the adversarial tradition than the American criminal justice system and the jury trial, as this American novelist’s opening line points out. This system is based upon a simple premise: that to ascertain the “truth”, there must be a confrontation between two opposing forces – the Prosecution and the Defense, respectively representing the victim’s and the accused’s version of what happened. The truth of the accusation must be proven within the rules of legal proceedings to ensure a fair playing field for the accused. Two narratives are presented before an impartial jury who acts as fact f...