What Are Defendant’s Trial Rights?

Defendants are entitled to numerous other constitutional and statutory protections during the course of trial. They are cloaked with the presumption of innocence, have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against the,, and can only be convicted upon proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (and that conviction must be based upon evidence admitted). N.J. Constitution, Article 1, paragraph 10. In re Yengo, 84 N.J. 111, 120 (1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1124 (1981); In re Ruth M. Buehrer, 50 N.J. 501, 516 (1967). These protections are constitutionally derived from a defendant’s due process rights as well as by statute in New Jersey. See In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 363 (1970); State v. Thomas, 132 N.J. 247, 253 (1993); N.J.S.A 2C:1-3a (proof beyond a reasonable doubt); State v. Cabbell, 207 N.J. 311, 328 (2011) (right to confront and cross examine witnesses before jury).

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