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a person against whom an action or claim is brought in a court of law
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(respondent), one of the parties in a civil case being heard in court or one of the parties in an economic dispute being resolved by an arbitration tribunal. The defendant is brought into the case in connection with the plaintiffs claim that his rights have been violated.

In Soviet law defendants may be either citizens or enterprises, organizations, and institutions exercising the rights of a legal person (only legal persons may be defendants in an arbitration tribunal). The status of the defendant in court and his procedural rights and duties are stipulated in the Basic Principles of Civil Procedure of the USSR and the Union Republics and in the codes of civil procedure of the Union republics. The defendant’s rights and duties in an arbitration tribunal are given in the Rules for the Hearing of Economic Disputes by State Arbitration Tribunals.



a person accused of committing a crime, from the moment of arraignment until the sentence takes legal effect or acquittal is announced. In Soviet criminal procedure, the arraignment is conducted either by an administrative session of the court or by a judge in cases that reach the court through an indictment endorsed by the procurator after an investigation (either an inquiry or a preliminary investigation). In cases of private accusations, where the materials are submitted directly to the court, the person becomes a defendant from the moment that the people’s judge rules to initiate a criminal case; the ruling is simultaneously an arraignment.

As a participant in the court hearing the defendant (prisoner at the bar) has various rights to protect his legal interests, such as the right to defense (independently or with a lawyer’s aid), the right to challenge the composition of the court, the prosecutor, or an expert, and the right to petition the court to call new witnesses, to demand and bring in new evidence, and to ask questions of participants in the court hearing.

After a guilty verdict is delivered and goes into effect, the defendant becomes a convicted person.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Each declared the other would take the witness stand and testify to a state of facts which would be exculpatory of the witness and condemnatory of his codefendant. Criminations and recriminations were the inevitable result.
The record shows in many instances that the defendants' witnesses were subjected to searching and critical cross-examinations by counsel for the antagonistic codefendant. Frequently it extended beyond the field covered by the state's attorney and in some cases went into matters never inquired of by him.
(384) On appeal of the bombing case, which was tried separately from the conspiracy charges, the defendants, citing Patris, complained of prejudice from statements of a codefendant who pleaded guilty.
Miner (1977) (539) was a rare example of an Illinois case that involved some degree of actual antagonism beyond conflicting codefendant statements.
Although the court accepted that Ledbetter's actual testimony was antagonistic to Miner's defense, the court distinguished Braune, where "evidence was presented, prior to trial, indicating that each defendant would take the witness stand and testify to a set of facts which would be exculpatory of the witness and condemnatory of his codefendant." (547) Although Miner contended that "a showing of antagonistic defenses may be made either prior to or during trial[,]" the court concluded that such a proposition "contradict[ed] several supreme and appellate court opinions which clearly state that a showing of antagonistic defenses must be made prior to trial." (548)
The principles and the techniques for obtaining codefendant criticisms are the same for any cause of action.
When codefendants rely on each other to follow the rules, they can be counted on to testify against each other when those rules are broken.
The better practice, especially when a defense attorney seeks to emphasize greater culpability of a codefendant, would be for only the cross-examining defendant's jury to be present.[28] Redirect examination similarly would take place in front of only the cross-examining defendant's jury.
Antagonistic defenses are when "the jury, in order to believe the core of testimony offered on behalf of that defendant, must necessarily disbelieve the testimony offered on behalf of his codefendants."[30] An example is when a defendant introduces testimony that the codefendant is solely responsible for a murder they are each charged with committing.[31] Antagonistic defenses effectively result in two prosecutors: the government and the other defendant.[32] In a multidefendant one-jury case, this situation constitutes improper joinder for which severance should be granted.[33] Similarly, in a multiple jury trial with antagonistic defenses, during the presenting defendant's case only that defendant's jury should be in the courtroom.[34]
In contrast to the majority, Justice White noted that the confession in Bruton was made by Evans, Bruton's codefendant.(43) This, explained Justice White, raised a real issue of credibility.(44) A confessor's statements are less trustworthy than other hearsay evidence, according to Justice White, because he is tainted by the strong motivation to inculpate his codefendant and thereby absolve himself of all or any of the blame.(45) Justice White believed that a jury, with a proper limiting instruction, would be able to recognize and understand the need to ignore this category of particularly suspect hearsay.(46)
Finally, Justice White's dissent in Bruton briefly addressed the future use of a redacted codefendant's confession, a topic not discussed by the majority.(47) The dissent's only guidance on this issue was that a redacted confession must not change the statement so as to unduly prejudice either the confessor or the Government.(48)
* Barber and his codefendants in a separate federal indictment, Jeff Whorton and Brandon Rains, are scheduled for trial on Oct.