Q: Can A 14 Year Old Make A Statement On The Stand?
Hi, I was wondering if my 14 year old sister could go up to the stand and make a statement. She wants to clarify the situation since our parent(s) are completely over-dramatizing the situation (according to her) .... She feels as if it's our parents are against the defendant (19) and she feels as if she's a victim of nothing! she wants to clarify to the court the situation and all so even if the defendant is found "guilty" the punishment won't be so cruel because she "knows" if other inmates found out what he was charged with (if found guilty) they'd probably end him.... Does she have the right to say something even though she's 14 and has Generalized Anxiety Disorder? please answer soon!
Thank you so much!
A: As a general rule age is usually not a bar two ones ability to testify as a witness in a courtroom as long as they have the capacity to testify truthfully and their testimony could assist the trier of fact (Jury or Judge). However, the attorneys on each side could have something to say about it. I suspect the assistant district attorney, the prosecutor, or the assistant United States attorney (whoever is prosecuting the case), might very well choose NOT to allow her to testify. She should discuss her desire to testify with the attorney(s) in the case.
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