What does the Sixth Amendment have to do with my trial rights?

| Nov 30, 2020 | criminal defense

If you face accusations related to any crime, you may feel as if law enforcement treats you like a guilty person. You may even suffer demonization in the media or your local community. However, there are certain rights provided to you under the U.S. Constitution. 

According to Cornell Law School, the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution establishes the rights of the accused. The amendment arose from the belief that justice delayed amounts to justice denied. 

The Sixth Amendment provisions

The amendment makes a speedy trial mandatory. This reduces the likelihood of people wasting away in jails across America without having their cases heard and tried. Accused parties should also receive information on the crimes of which they stand accused, which generally takes place at an indictment. 

In addition to this, the amendment makes provisions for fairness and transparency during the trial by making the trial a public affair that involves impartial jurors. Finally, accused parties have the right to counsel and to confront accusers. Altogether, these provisions comprise the due process. 

The reality of trial

In spite of these provisions, law enforcement officers often feel sure about the guilt of the accused party or feel determined to make other parties sure. This may cause them to act accordingly, which introduces biases into the legal system. 

It also creates room for potential corruption and the infringement of rights. Some of these rights include additional protections, such as Miranda rights and provisions in the Illinois constitution. 

Because of this, accused parties may not receive due process by merely expecting it to happen. Instead, sometimes, the right to due process involves an uphill battle and a fight against prejudices. 

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