Sixth Amendment: Judge

3. The Sixth Amendment (and the protection against the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus) also guarantees that persons who are arrested have a right to be brought before a judge. This occurs at two stages in the judicial process.

  • a. First, those detained have a right to be informed of the accusations against them.
  • b. Second, they have a right to a speedy and public trial.
  • c. In addition, defendants have the right to confront witnesses against them.
Posted 2 years ago

Sixth Amendment: Jury

2. Defendants are entitled to many rights including the Sixth Amendment’s provision for a speedy trial by an impartial jury. Defendants (those who can afford it) do not leave jury selection to chance.

  • a. The Constitution does not specify the size of a jury; tradition has set jury size at 12, but six jurors are sometimes used in petty cases.
  • b. Juries traditionally had to be unanimous in order to convict, but the Burger Court permitted states to use fewer than 12 jurors and to convict with less than a unanimous vote. Federal courts still employ juries of 12 persons and require unanimous votes for a criminal conviction.
Posted 2 years ago

Sixth Amendment: Plea Bargain

1. Most cases (90 percent) are settled through plea bargaining rather than through trial by jury.

  • a. In plea bargaining, an agreement is made between a defendant’s lawyer and a prosecutor to the effect that a defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime or to fewer crimes and often results in greatly reduced punishment.
  • b. Plea bargaining saves the state time and money but many feel it allows the defendant to get off with less than he deserves.
Posted 2 years ago

The Sixth Amendment also ensures the right to a speedy trial and an impartial jury.

Posted 2 years ago

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: McClesky v Kemp

The court stated that the death penalty does not violate the 14th Amendment

* Even though many thought it went against the equal protection of the law

Posted 2 years ago

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Gregg v. Georgia 1976

The court reestablished that the death penalty was constitutional by declaring that “It is an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme of crimes”

* It is not cruel or unusual because it is only used in extreme circumstances.

Posted 2 years ago

US Death Penalty by State

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Furman v. Georgia

Questioned whether the death pentalty was too cruel a punishment for people to face

* 4 justices ruled that the death punishment was not cruel and unusual

* Yet Georgia’s death penalty law was overturned because they considered it to be “random”

Posted 2 years ago