The Risk of Treating Criminal Trials as Theater

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Robin Barton

In high school, my first love was acting. But for various reasons, I decided not to pursue a career as an actress and opted to become a prosecutor instead.

That career change isn't as odd or abrupt as it might seem.

After all, criminal trials are theater in many respects. The prosecutor and defense attorney are the actors. The jury is their audience. Opening and closing statements are essentially monologues.

The required skills also translate between the two occupations. In both, you need to be quick on your feet and able to ad lib when needed, such as when . . .

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