Criminal Law Foundation Evaluation
Constitutional safeguards provided to individuals by the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments of the United States Constitution ad areas of criminal justice where these amendments have the greatest impact
Criminal procedure, this is the body of state and federal constitutional statutes, court rules, provisions and other various laws that govern the administration of the justice in the handled criminal cases (Dressler, Strong & Moritz, 2001)
These procedures are meant to safeguard all types of people both the guilty and the innocents from application of indiscriminate substantive criminal law. At the federal level, the safeguards are basically set forth in three distinct places with the amendments IV, V and VI being among them. These rules are meant to enforce the rights that are established by the constitution.
The fourth amendment basically deals with the protection of the citizen’s rights by protecting them from the seizures and searches during a criminal investigation. It protects the right of people to being very secure in their houses, papers, effects and so on. Warrants thus have to be given which are supported by an affirmation and oath. The Supreme Court however has ruled that not all searches require warrants and that the fourth amendment just prevents unreasonable searches (Lasson, 1970). However, all the warrantless searches are considered unreasonable unless they fall within the limits set by the Supreme Court.
The Fifth Amendment basically prevents the government from pushing the individuals or citizens from getting to the point of incriminating themselves. The victim may opt to plead the fifth if by any chance they see that answering the questions may lead to incrimination. It also ensures that the person liable for a crime has not been denied the due process of law, from subjecting individuals to multiple punishments just for committing a single crime and ensures that victims are indicted by a grand jury first before they are punished in the federal law. It creates several amounts of rights that are relevant to the legal and civil proceedings (Levy, 1968)
The just compensation clause, ensures that the government is fair in terms of property. The law has the right to take property from a person and equally the person has the right to be compensated at a value that equals the market value. (Levy, 1968)
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Grand juries have been in existence for a long while. It is basically a group of professionals who determine whether a person is guilty of a crime or not. They determine whether there is enough evidence for an accused person to be prosecuted or not. A person who is being charged with any form of crime where the grand jury is involved basically has the right to challenge the juror for bias or partiality. These challenges however are different from peremptory challenges. A judge has to remove the juror without any further proof immediately a defendant files a peremptory challenge (Amar & Lettow, 1995).
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Double jeopardy works to protect one against harassment through successive prosecution. It to prevent the client or the victim from having emotional, financial, physical, and psychological trouble. Jeopardy means the danger involved in the prosecution (Amar & Lettow, 1995).
The sixth amendment is o among10 bills of rights and it became a law in the year 1971. It basically deals with ensuring that the suspects are subject to faster and public trials and are given the right to know all the charges that have been are directed towards them and ensure that they have a chance of having an attorney. This is termed as the right to have counsel (Heller, 1951).
Impacts of the fourth amendment
- This right provides for safeguards to the suspect during the detentions and searches as it prevents unreasonable searches and requires warrants before any search is done. It prevents unlawfully acquired evidence or items from being used as a form of evidence in any criminal proceedings (LaFave, 1978).
- It prevents an individual from cases where a police officer might enter their house to make an arrest or search for an evidence to a particular crime.
- The search warrants have to be signed by the judge hence cannot be forged.
- Several procedures have to be put into place such as knocking on the door and announcing the presence before entering into the house. Without this, it may be viewed as trespass and thus illegal.
- It prevents police officers from confiscating a person’s property and placing it under the control of the police (LaFave, 1978).
- Electronic intrusions are also protected in this right. The police have no right to access the back accounts, email, bank accounts and computers unless they also have a warranty to do so.
The fourth amendment also has some negative impacts. These include;
- The bill does not offer any protection in the tax hearings, parole revocation hearings and also deportation hearings.
- The bill also does not apply when the Jury collects information or evidence outside the United States as it will be used in the prosecution.
- It does not apply when a person who is not a government employee was involved in the collection of information hence termed as illegally termed evidence.
- Lastly, it does not apply to cases where the illegally acquired evidence is in turn used to cause impeachment of the defendant’s testimony (Lasson, 1970).
Impact of the 5th amendment
- It puts the interest of the guilty as well as the innocent at hand as it protects them from incriminating themselves. This can be done by them pleading fifth to any inquiries that may form a lee way to any further punishment or cause them to be guilty for a certain plea (Levy, 1968).
- The proceedings are held in a secretive manner as only the jury and the prosecutor are present. It is only the prosecutor who can allow the defense attorney to be involved in the proceedings.
- The suspect will thus not be indicted unless the Grand Jury has a probable cause. This means that there must be enough evidence to show that the suspect has committed the said crime.
- It gives a provision for a person to be explained or notified of all their proceedings to the latter until they have the opportunity to respond to any questions directed to them.
- This right also ensures that no single individual is deprived of property, life or liberty without the entire due process of the law (Levy, 1968).
- This right also prevents the government from infringing any person’s fundamental rights and also the right to privacy
- This right is very beneficial to the police as it offers a platform for them to acquire information from the suspects. This is basically through confessions.
- This right guarantees the accused the right to be put into trial by the Grand Jury.
- It protects the accused from being punished more than once for the same crime that he/she committed (Amar & Lettow, 1995).
- It also provides for the appointment of an attorney for an accused person on the event that the person might not be able to afford their own attorney.
- It guarantees the victim the right to be compensated for any of their property that was seized by the government for public use at the same market value thus making it fair for the victim (Amar & Lettow, 1995).
The impacts of the 6th amendment
- Helps your lawyer to know the reason why you are being charged and the reason for that.
- The victims are in this case confronted and are cross-examined so as to prevent the cases where a wrong person is taken into custody.
- The victims have the chance to defend themselves.
- It prevents the accused from staying in prison for a prolonged period of time as it ensures that the proceedings take place without any delay.
- The accused is able to know who is accusing them and on what grounds
- It also prevents bias as it is evident in the past monarchial system where the dictators used to put their political enemies behind bars.
- It prevents people from being charged over tramped up charges.
- In the past, the judges used to be paid to give verdicts regardless of the evidence produced. This is nowadays not possible since this bill was put into law and put into place. It makes it hard for the judges to be corrupt as all procedures are follower to the latter (Heller, 1951).
According to the above discussed text, the three Bill of Rights have a great impact to the Americans. The amendments discussed have shown how the importance of the concept of civil liberties. These amendments have proved that all the Americans have rights and that they are protected from any interference by the government.