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CH 14 Citizenship and Equal Justice
Rights of the Accused A crime is an act against a law of the state.
The challenge for Americans is to balance the rights of the people versus that of the accused. (The greater good) The BOR and the 14th Amendment were designed to protect the rights of both.
The 4th Amendment The police must state under oath that they have probable cause in order to get a search warrant. The search warrant is then very specific about place and things. They may search a private home without a warrant only in life threatening emergencies. No warrant is needed if the police see someone breaking the law. (they have the right to arrest and seize for drugs in a minor traffic stop)
Drug tests are considered a search but do not require a warrant if it is to protect public safety
Illegally obtained evidence may not be used in court. (This is now being challenged and even relaxed if the officers can prove they acted in good faith) The 4th amendment is also relaxed in high schools. All that is needed is reasonable grounds and a student may be searched at any time. The rules differ if the search is conducted by a police officer vs. a school official.
The 6th Amendment Guarantees a defendant the right to counsel or an attorney. This mainly applies to federal courts. People can be tried in state courts without a lawyer.
The 5th Amendment (Self Incrimination)
The government bears the burden of proof. Defendants are not obliged to help the govt. prove they committed a crime or testify at their own trial. It protects against forcibly attained confessions or information. This amendment was later enforced more strongly when the Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona and established the Miranda rights for questioning subjects.
Miranda v Arizona In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona for stealing $8 from bank worker and charged with armed robbery. He already had a record for armed robbery, and a juvenile record including attempted rape, assault, and burglary. While in police custody he signed a written confession to the robbery, and to kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman 11 days before the robbery. After the conviction, his lawyers appealed, on the grounds that Miranda did not know he was protected from self-incrimination. The case, Miranda v. Arizona, made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where the conviction was overthrown. In a landmark ruling issued in 1966, the court established that the accused have the right to remain silent and that prosecutors may not use statements made by defendants while in police custody unless the police have advised them of their rights, commonly called the Miranda Rights. The case was later re-tried, Miranda was convicted on the basis of other evidence, and served 11 years. He was paroled in 1972, and died in 1976 at the age of 34, after being stabbed in a bar fight. A suspect was arrested but chose to excercise his right to remain silent, and was released.
5th Amendment Continued (Double Jeopardy)
Also deals with double jeopardy. It does not protect against someone being prosecuted criminally and then being tried civilly. A criminal act can be tried in both state and federal courts. A single act can involve multiple crimes and a suspect can be tried for each component of the event.
8th Amendment Forbids cruel and unusual punishment
The main controversy is whether or not the death penalty is cruel or unusual. What do you think? Alabama's Electric Chair 153 Executions
1 Schlosser Yates 5 11 7 10 Millions
Equal Protection of the Law
“All men are created equal” as stated in the DOI really means that all are entitled to equal rights and treatment before the law. This is shown in the 14th amendment which grants equal protection under the law and really extends the 5th amendment due process clause. The point is to keep the government from making distinctions among people based on classification.
14th Amendment Passed after the Civil War and is intended to grant rights to former slaves. However many states passed Jim crow laws which allowed legal segregation. Jim Crow laws were upheld by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson which put into place the principle of “separate but equal”
Brown vs Bd of Education
Plessy vs. Ferguson stood until the 1950’s when it was overturned by Brown v. Bd of Education. This led to the Civil Rights Movement and the cooperation of many blacks and whites in an effort to bring about “equal” justice for all.
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