The Judges, Part 3 of 12
It is very important to mention that, unlike, unlike other systems, the Judge of a Court doesn’t see, hear or know the facts of a case unless, and not before, the case goes to trial. And even then, in a Jury trial, a Judge will not normally see or hear evidence, say an opinion, or decide guilt or punishment.
The accused has the Constitutional right to choose between a Judge and a Jury.
Judge only reviews evidence or hear testimony when there is a legal issue to resolve. Like a Motion to suppress an accused’s statement or a search for evidence.
The Judge is the Referee or umpire who decides what evidence or testimony is admissible in the trial or if the Prosecutor or Lawyer committed a “foul.”
Was it a penalty or not?
And if an accused loses at trial, she can only appeal a mistake by the Judge or a mistake that her lawyer made, but only if it made a difference in the result of the case.
Keep in mind then, that a Judge’s job (generally) is not to decide a person’s guilt, innocence or punishment. Her job is to make sure both sides follow the rules and move cases so the court will not become paralyzed by the caseload.