How long do most murder trials last

Why do you actually watch a murder trial?

Curious onlookers or inquisitive? We asked people why they were watching a murder trial. And: What you should know before a trial visit.

No, a court hearing cannot be compared to going to the cinema or the theater. After all, you don't get to see a rehearsed piece. It is the harsh reality that comes to light in the negotiating rooms.

But True Crime has always been fascinating.“These storiessatisfy our usual need for curiosity to a certain extent "says psychiatrist Reinhard Hallerwho, among other things, already has the personality of the serial killer Jack Unterweger has analyzed. It is therefore not surprising that many people pick a trial from their calendars in their free time and watch a defendant go through with a trial.

So on Thursday, when a 33-year-old Villacher had to answer for murder before the regional court in Klagenfurt, the spectator benches were full. The man had killed his ex-girlfriend with 25 stab wounds, her eight-year-old son had to watch the crime. Further shocking details were revealed during the course of the trial.

We were also there to report on it. During the breaks we asked around and asked the audience what was the main reason for them to be there today.

"I have the ÖBB senior card"

“I don't know the victim. But my husband knew the woman ", explains a viewer with a concerned look. It is by no means the first murder trial she has attended: "We watch negotiations regularly, my husband and I." Once she even knew the defendant: “So from the point of view, not personally. But you still don't trust you to do that. "

Another gentleman agrees: “I also go to negotiations more often when I have time. I'm retired. "It's just interesting. And important."Fortunately we have a legal system."

In another murder trial in Klagenfurt, which took place a few months ago, a pensioner referred to by us referred to his ÖBB senior card: “I take the train for free. So I thought to myself, I'll come from St. Veit to Klagenfurt today and have a look. "

But it's not just bystanders who are in the spectator area. Law students and even entire school classes can regularly be found in courtrooms - alongside relatives and journalists.

A precious right

In fact, it is even advisable to attend a court hearing at least once - as a spectator, of course, not in the dock. Because the fact that court hearings in Austria are public and accessible to everyone is a precious right. However, there are a few things that one should be aware of.

First of all: Regardless of whether it is a negotiation for theft, murder or manslaughter, all processes have one thing in common. When the judge enters the hall, everyone stands up.

The negotiation itself must not be disturbed in any way. Cell phones should therefore be in silent mode. And of course, questions from the audience are not allowed either.

As already mentioned, a court hearing is not for the faint of heart and by no means an entertainment program, but an appointment to be taken very seriously.

A murder trial is not entertainment

Whoever sits in the courtroom has to expect the following things, depending on the indictment: injuries that are described in detail and often also illustrated, relatives who testify in tears and perpetrators who, in the worst case, show no remorse.

When people reveal highly private details in front of the judge and the defense or the public prosecutor's office re-inquires, it can happen that you feel out of place in the audience. And yet there is at least a small ray of hope in the end. In other words, if guilt can be determined, the perpetrator will be convicted.

How long a hearing lasts depends entirely on the accusation with which the accused is confronted. Yet even one of arguably the worst crimes, murder, can be sentenced in a day.

Short process

In the case of other offenses, the negotiation can be completed after half an hour. As in the case of a computer scientist from Klagenfurt who fed a virus into his employer's IT system - in revenge for not getting a raise.

The man had never come into conflict with the law before and immediately confessed. He was clearly uncomfortable with the whole thing. The thin, pale computer scientist was pretty much the opposite of what you think of a criminal: After being fined, he shook hands with the judge and prosecutor and wished everyone a pleasant day.

You might also be interested in these reports:

True Crime: Why are we so fascinated by murder & manslaughter?

For murder in court: Villacher (33) convicted

Post from death row: "People see animals, sick people and murderers in us"