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The Criminal Amendments: Rights of the Accused Trends Over Time

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Presentation on theme: "The Criminal Amendments: Rights of the Accused Trends Over Time"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Criminal Amendments: Rights of the Accused Trends Over Time

2 Procedural Due Process:
Constitutional requirement that government must follow proper legal procedures before a person can be legitimately punished for an offense.

3 In simple terms: Protection from wrongful:
Arrest Conviction Punishment These protections are in the Bill of Rights Article I, Section 9: habeas corpus Suspect has the right to know the specific reason for their detainment, and they can challenge their detention

4 Suspicion Phase: Unreasonable Search and Seizure
Amendment 4

5 “The right of the people to be secure
“The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures but upon probable cause . . .” Trend: the standard the police must meet in order to search has been diminished over time Is it legal for police to stop a car for a minor traffic infraction when their real motive is to search the car? Is it legal for police to stop motorists at roadblocks? Is it legal for police to use thermal imaging devices to scan homes for what might be illegal drug production? Is it legal for school officials to require drug tests of high school students? Is it legal for officers to seize evidence from a scene where the arrest warrant has expired?

6 Case Study: Mapp v. Ohio 1961 Ms. Mapp was charged and convicted of obscene materials gained through an illegal search of her home. The Court had to decide whether materials gained from an illegal search were admissible as evidence in court. The Supreme Court said that materials gained through an illegal means are not admissible as evidence. This is known as the exclusionary rule.

7 Arrest Phase: Protection Against Self-Incrimination
Amendment 5

8 Cannot “be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”
Coerced confessions are not legal But some harsh interrogation techniques are legal Accusations Yelling Invading personal space Lying about evidence Telling a suspect they failed a polygraph test

9 Case Study: Miranda v. Arizona 1966
Ernesto Miranda confessed to kidnapping and rape without being notified of his freedom from self-incrimination and right to counsel. The Court had to decide whether police needed to inform suspects of their rights before interrogation begins. The Court decided that prosecutors could not use statements made before a suspect was notified of his rights. Notification must be made when the suspect is in custody and before interrogation.

10 Trial Phase: The Right to a Fair Trial
Amendment 6

11 Case Study: Gideon v. Wainwright: 1963
Gideon was arrested for burglarizing a pool hall. He was not given assistance of counsel for his defense. The Court had to decide whether depriving a suspect of an attorney in a non-capital case deprived the suspect of his Sixth Amendment rights. The Court sided with Gideon; they said the right to an attorney for a non-capital case is essential to due process.

12 Trend Alert: Incorporated rights for the accused were largely expanded during the Warren Court ( ) Court decisions have greatly narrowed the exclusionary rule Search protections have narrowed over time; Individuals’ freedom from unreasonable search has diminished over time

13 Sentencing Phase: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Amendment 8

14 Death Penalty Trend: Narrowed use over time Outlawed for: Juveniles
People with mental retardation People who are clinically insane


16 War on Terror Detention of Enemy Combatants

17 Should individuals suspected of terrorist acts be informed of their rights?

18 Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 2004 Hamdi is an American citizen, arrested in Afghanistan and detained in the US. Hamdi, who was being held indefinitely, was not given access to an attorney or a trial court. The Court had to decide whether Hamdi, an “enemy combatant,” had been deprived of his ??? The Court decided that Hamdi’s Fifth Amendment protections of due process were violated.

19 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 2006 Hamdan, bin Laden’s chauffeur, was held and tried by a secret military tribunal The Court had to decide whether the military tribunals were constitutional. The Court ruled that the tribunals were unlawful because they did not provide even minimal protections detainees’ rights.

20 War on Terror Trend Increased presidential (executive branch) authority Diminished civil liberties, especially during times of intense security needs

21 Summary: Overall, have we gained or lost civil liberties over time?
Selective incorporation has increased individuals liberties over time. During times of war, liberties are often diminished. The courts are constantly striking a balance between individual rights and the need for public order.

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