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Rights of the Accused
The Framers of the Constitution had fresh memories of a government that accused individuals of crimes they didn’t commit and then convicted them in unjust trials. Therefore, they went to great lengths to ensure the brand new government they confirmed wouldn’t participate in such practices. Toward that end, the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights ensure a collection significant protections for people accused of committing offenses in America.
Given the high rates of crime in this country, some have proposed the rights of the accused be curtailed. There have been, actually, several attempts at the national level and in the states to enact “victims’ rights” laws, to restrict the amount of appeals that may be brought by condemned offenders and to make the punishments for crime more serious. When it comes to balancing freedom and order, these attempts are certainly geared toward encouraging more order. The Constitution, however, keeps the balances tipped decidedly in favor of the accused. In this country’s criminal judicial system, the premise is the fact that errors will likely be made. Instead of erring on the side of penalizing the innocent, yet, this is a system that’s prone to let a guilty man go unpunished.
Protections for the Accused
When someone is detained and charged with a crime, he or she’s ensured a number of rights directed at ensuring the legal proceedings which follow will be honest. The Bail Bond allows temporary liberty during the trial period
The Writ of Habeas Corpus
From the beginning, the burden of proof is really on the authorities to warrant the arrest and detention of a defendant in a crime. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution ensures the privilege of a writ of habeas corpus. Among the very serious abuses of governmental power the Framers sought to prevent was the imprisonment or detention of citizens without an indicator of why they were being held. Habeas corpus is a Latin term literally meaning “you’ve the body.” A writ of habeas corpus is a directive from a court demanding the authorities to warrant the imprisonment of a citizen. Due to the writ of habeas corpus guarantee, an person can’t be held for more than a brief amount of time without being officially charged with a crime.
Of the habeas privilege, the Supreme Court has held that the “authorities should always be responsible to the judiciary for a guy ‘s imprisonment: in case the imprisonment is unable to be demonstrated to follow together with the essential requirements of law, the person is entitled to his immediate release” (see Fay v. Noia (1963)). Truly, a high number of criminal conviction appeals are increased under the habeas corpus privilege. People who’ve been convicted of offenses despite their professed innocence or a purportedly defective trial may demand the authorities warrant her or his physical confinement. To warrant the incarceration, it’s usually required to examine the record of the trial that created the guilty verdict along with the evidence which was presented. Sometimes, a court may conclude that someone is being wrongfully imprisoned and his or her “immediate release” is going to be ordered.
Trial by Jury
Among the very significant rights of an individual officially charged with a “serious offense” is the right to a jury trial. This right is guaranteed in Article III of the Constitution and by the Sixth Amendment. Men accused of crimes hold the right to possess their guilt or innocence determined by a panel of fellow-citizens. In federal cases, formal charges cannot even be filed unless a grand jury is convened and issues an indictment. The jury trial and grand jury promises are meant to protect private citizens from overzealous police officers, prosecutors and judges. By interjecting the wisdom and judgment of other private people into the process, an effective check on law enforcement as well as on the judicial system is preserved.
In its opinions, the Supreme Court has understood the relevance of jury trials and has set a high threshold for preserving the impartiality of jurors. In one famous instance, a bailiff was overheard by some members of a jury to say, “Oh that evil guy, he’s guilty.” The Court ruled the remark had unfairly biased the jury against the defendant along with a new trial was ordered (see Parker v. Gladden (1966)).