AJudge, the Prosecuting Attorney and the Defendant in a JudicialCross-Examination
Theuse of non-verbal communication cues is meant to support verbalcommunication and hence make the communication effective. Anycommunication that is devoid of these prompts might not present theintended message to the audience (App, 603). This paper explores ashort story of a judge, a prosecuting attorney, and a defendant in acourt of law. It will provide a very short fictional story abouttheir communication and finally analyze five different channels ofnon-verbal communication used at the end.
Itis 10.00am at a Mississippi courtroom where the defendant, who hasbeen accused of attempted rape, is arraigned in the dock. Theprosecuting attorney is seated facing the seat of the judge. Thefamily members of the defendant and the plaintiff are quietly seatedwaiting for the proceedings to start. The judge gets in and everybodystands up. After bowing in show of respect to the court, the judgeinstructs everyone to sit. The clerk reads the case number and offersit to the judge. The defendant is required to make a plea in which hepleads not guilty. The prosecuting attorney arises and starts tocross-examine the defendant. The attorney asks the defendant where hewas at the material date. The defendant pleads alibi stating that hewas at a different place during the commission of the offence.Despite that, the prosecuting attorney continues to prove the case byshowing to the judge that the accused was actually at the scene ofthe crime in the material date. However, he seeks for adjournment tocall witnesses. The defendant objects to the adjournment and thejudge is forced to make a determination. After 15 minutes of waiting,the judge grants a final adjournment of 2 weeks and adjourns theproceedings.
Analysisof Nonverbal Concepts in the Story
Thesitting posture of the judge is that she is seated with her backleaning a bit forward with a clear view of every corner of thecourtroom. This is to show that she is in command of the court. Thedefendant is standing with his hands handcuffed from the frontshowing that he is confined.
Theattorney’s voice is very commanding but also appealing. This ismeant to petition to the court of his point of argument. The voice ofdefendant is very soft and low key in order to prove his innocence.
Thecourtroom is very quiet and highly lighted. The manner in which thechairs are arranged is very neat with sitting areas for the judge,the prosecuting attorneys, the defense attorneys, the accused’ dockand the members of the public. This is to create an environment ofjustice whereby, everything is serious, and everybody has to showrespect.
Thejudge is addressed in her professional attire with a rob around herwaist. Additionally, the prosecuting attorney has donned a nice greysuit, with black shoes and blue tie. This is according to theprofessional ethics of the legal profession. It commands respect forthe profession.
Thejudge gestures for everyone to sit down. The prosecuting attorneyuses a variety of gestures in the course of cross-examination.
Inconclusion, the use of non-verbal cues is critical in the quest toachieve an effective communication. Using these channels aids inensuring the clarity of the message to the audience. In the crossexamination of the defendant, the judge, prosecuting attorney anddefendant have deployed serval nonverbal channels so that aparticular message is clearly sent about the importance of theproceedings and the respect to be accorded to the courtroom.
App,Betsy, et al. "Nonverbal channel use in communication ofemotion: How may depend on why." Emotion11.3 (2011): 603.