The Supreme Court’s resolution of Brewer revolved upon two factual issues. The first was whether an interrogation of the accused occurred; the second was whether Williams waived his right to counsel....The majority’s resolution of the former two issues can be disputed indefinitely, depending upon one’s view of facts in the record.
—Edward F. Pohern 1
After Robert Williams was formally charged and entered a plea of not guilty at the arraignment, the process moved forward toward trial. Judge James Denato would preside over the trial while Vincent Hanrahan would be the lead prosecutor and Henry McKnight would be the lead defense counsel. Criminal trials create a forum in which the subjective facts of a case can be determined, the law can be applied to those facts, and a conclusion about guilt or innocence can then be reached. The conclusion that is reached in a trial may depend on the set of facts that are accepted, the law that is applied, or a combination of facts and law. The facts of a case are central to the outcome and play a prominent role in the adversarial process. Prosecuting and defense attorneys do their best to make the most essential facts necessary to winning their case come out at trial and to make other facts seem less important and credible. Attorneys also try to influence judges in their decisions regarding which laws are applicable to the case.