CHAPTER 12: OUTLINE OF A TRIAL - Table of Contents
12.1 - Introduction • 12.2 - Pretrial Matters • 12.3 - Jury Selection • 12.4 - Opening Statement • 12.5 - Prosecution Case-in-Chief • 12.6 - Motion For Judgment of Acquittal/Directed Verdict • 12.7 - Defense Case-in-Chief • 12.8 - Rebuttal and Surrebuttal • 12.9 - Witness Examination • 12.10 - Jury Instructions • 12.11 - Closing Argument • 12.12 - Jury Deliberations • 12.13 - Motions For Mistrial • 12.14 - Miscellaneous Issues
12.8 REBUTTAL AND SURREBUTTAL
At the end of the defense case, the prosecution or plaintiff is given the opportunity to present evidence in rebuttal. Whether to allow this evidence is in the trial judge's discretion. Rebuttal evidence is evidence that tends to explain, refute, counteract, or disprove evidence introduced in the defendant's case-in-chief. A prosecutor or plaintiff may not go into new matters that don't contradict the evidence or inferences raised by the defense, nor simply repeat evidence presented in the case-in-chief.
At the end of rebuttal, the defense may be allowed surrebuttal. Surrebuttal evidence is limited to responding to issues that were raised for the first time in the rebuttal case. It is not an opportunity for the defense to present their whole case again, or to open up the door to new issues. It is reversible error for the trial judge to prevent a defendant from introducing surrebuttal evidence to meet new matters raised by the rebuttal evidence presented by the plaintiff or prosecutor.
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