In a Criminal Trial, how do I prove the accused is innocent? i.e. how do I ask the questions?
I am a student participating in a Mock Trial, I have to make the accused look innocent of second degree murder...This accused has no criminal record and is an active participant in the Neighbourhood Watch program, which is specifically designed to deter crime in communities. He is married with 2 kids, has a good job (a chrtered accountant and has a firm with him and his friend). Basically he was having a barbeque with his friend, they drank some beer and some scotch (don't know if they were drunk), the accused heard a noise outside and thinking it was the gang of kids that were b&e, he took a bat with him just to scare them away. When he got to the garage he started to yell to scare them off, the deceased said they were coming out and they had a gun, scared the accused swung the bat, hit the deceased and ran off, not knowing he had killed him.
I need help in asking my questions to prove he is innocent.
If the perpetrator had a gun and if he was on your defendants property you can claim self defense. Your client felt that his life was in danger and that is why he took the bat with him. He went outside to protect his family from the gang of kids. Does this gang of kids have a history of violence in the community? You should ask your client the following: Did you feel like your life was in jeopardy? Did you see that one of the perps. had a weapon? Did the perp. point the weapon at you? Did the perp. verbalize any threats directed at you? Was the perp. on your property? Did you know the perp. personally? If so, how does your client know the perp? Does your client have a history with the perp. involving threats or intimidation?