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  • A court proceeding that takes place when a person accused of a crime pleads “not guilty.” Witnesses are required to testify in court to give evidence of the defendant's guilt or innocence. Attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant are entitled to make opening statements, limited to an outline of what they plan to prove, and evidence is then presented by witnesses. Both sides may close with final arguments to summarize and comment on the evidence and legal questions. The judge or jury then retires to reach a verdict about the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

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