Criminal Trial Reflection

A Reflection on the Jake Patterson Hearing Video Archive
In this case, Jake Thomas Patterson, 21 years old is accused of the murder of Denise and James Closs, as well as kidnapping their daughter Jayme Closs from their home in Barron County, Wisconsin on October 15, 2018. Police searched for Jayme intensively and she was found alive on January 10 with Patterson being arrested for her kidnap and murdering her parents. Patterson was holding Jayme in his home against her will for 3 months but on January 10 she escaped from the house when Patterson. Jayme provided the authorities with a good description of Patterson’s vehicle which led to his arrest within a span of ten minutes after police pulled him over and arrested him.
In this court hearing, the prosecution is heard charging Patterson with three counts, namely intentional homicide, kidnapping and burglary. Moreover, additional charges from Douglas County were also expected because that is the location where Patterson was holding her captive for almost three months. During this court hearing, Patterson appearance in court is through a video link.
This particular hearing ends by the prosecutor requesting the judge to set $5 million as Patterson’s bail so that he would be obliged to come to court in the next appearance. The judge also gave orders that Patterson should not posses any firearms. Patterson was also not to make nay contacts with Jayme o any other persons that might help her once she escaped from his captivity.
I made some interesting observation during this court hearing one of them being the level of advocacy involved. Unlike the usual debates in schools or parliament which involve a lot wit and sarcasm, the atmosphere in this court session was more civilized and thoroughly controlled as is the case in a normal court. Moreover, nobody was allowed to interrupt the proceeding of the court without permission from the presiding judge, a factor that made this session very organized and orderly. The organization and orderliness exhibited in this court made it easy to follow and understand the proceedings.
Another aspect of this court hearing I observed was that there were legal clerks supporting the judge, together with other personnel such as interpreters and security guards. Though these people didn’t play a major role in the proceedings of the court, it was noticeable that their contribution was immense because the judge occasionally reached out to them whenever he need clarification on a specific document or required the necessary information required to determine the next hearing.
According to Berman, Miller & Wright (2018), criminal trials are often carried out in open places so that there is evidence from the public that justice has been seen to be served. This means that having the public attend a court hearing is important to demonstrate transparency and that no hidden agendas being exercise. In the same way, the Jake Patterson hearing had members of the public allowed to watch the proceedings from inside the court room and via provided video link which meant that there was transparency in what was going on.
In conclusion, watching the Jake Patterson hearing video has been an eye opener in regards to the amount of time, effort and organization that goes into place when prosecuting a criminal case. For instance, the court session was well structured and organized, a situation that allowed all the participants to easily follow what was going on. In addition, the fact the public was allowed to attend the proceeding physically and through a video link promoted transparency.

Demleitner, N. V., Berman, D. A., Miller, M. L., & Wright, R. F. (2018). Sentencing law and policy: Cases, statutes, and guidelines. New York: Wolters Kluwer.
Wild About Trial. (2019, January 14). Jake Patterson Hearing Video Archive. Retrieved from

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