Right to Speedy Trial under the 6th Amendment

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6th Amendment

Introduction: The 6th Amendment

Time plays a crucial role in every aspect of the case. If you have been in an accident, you need the ambulance and the police officers to be on time. You witness a murder; you will need the police to arrive as soon as possible because time plays an integral part in gathering evidence, getting the first information and statements, and much more. The 6th Amendment Bill of Rights provides the right to a speedy trial to an accused.

6th Amendment Simplified includes public trial with no delay, right to seeking an attorney, the right to get an impartial jury, and the right to know who accused them. With that, they are also held to know the charges and evidence against them. Not knowing the rights can majorly affect their case and can also be an unfair option. With that what is a due process? And how it had evolved? Let us grasp the knowledge for both topics in general.

Here are a few reasons that justify a Right to Speedy Trial.

  • Justice in time

People have significantly suffered due to injuries, loss of life, finance, or any other unfortunate event due to the crime to get justice in time. The 6th Amendment protects the accused in this case if there is a deliberate delay in the court hearing date.

  • It is a fast trial but an orderly trial

The right to speedy trial considers the number of days that the trial has been delayed and if it has caused any harm to the accused. The court also looks into the precise reason for the delay. Only after considering these factors is a case put on a speedy trial.

  • Providing the sentence

The ultimate reason for having a speedy trial is to picture the accused person’s case and request a speedy trial. It saves the accused from being in custody for a crime that may have to be further tried to prove the accused innocent or cut short the sentence.

  • Reducing the mental burden

 A trial is a burden that mentally affects the accused. Hence, if the accused has to prove their innocence or provide fresh evidence, the right to speedy trial gives them a platform to show the same urgently. Click here to read more on the 6th Amendment.

  • The loss of evidence

From forensic evidence, it is easier to present the case theory so that the jury and the judge can take their decision. Thus, delay in the trial only creates room for mismanagement of the evidence and even its loss.

  • Being convicted and sentenced

To be convicted is difficult when you have to suffer the waiting time between being convicted and announcing the sentence. However, if there is a delay, the defendant’s lawyer will have to hold on to crucial information for more extended periods, giving the accused a ray of hope for sentence reduction or parole.

The 6th Amendment has been framed to protect the rights of the accused. However, since the early times, the accused, without any proof, are projected to hatred, injustice, and even bias in the society. Leave alone the time needed to prove the innocence of the accused.

Below are all the Rights of the Accused under the 6th Amendment. 

Right to
  • A speedy trial
  • A public trial
  • An Impartial Jury
  • Be informed of the nature and the causes of the charges
  • Confront witnesses
  • Call forth witnesses
  • Counsel

How can an accused benefit from the 6th Amendment?

An Accused has the Rights mentioned above under the sixth Amendment. 

Right to

A public trial 

The accused has the right to be judged in front of the press, his family and friends, and even other witnesses. There can be no hidden or closed-door trials unless and until the circumstances ask for it. 

An Impartial Jury

The accused has the right to be judged by an impartial jury. But, on the other hand, the jury has to be selected carefully, understanding that they do not have any bias against the accused or their background will allow them to be partial with the accused.

Be informed of the nature and the causes of the charges

The information and the grounds of the charges must be read out in light of the ongoing trial. The accused gets to know about all the charges and the sentences awarded to avoid confusion or misunderstanding later.

Confront witnesses.

The right to confront witnesses is also known as the “ Discovery,” where the defendant’s lawyer can seek information about the evidence and the witness so that they can prepare their theory for the case. 

Call forth witnesses

Every accused has the equal right to representation in a court of law. A strong witness will allow the accused to put for a strong case and even impact the judge and jury. The 6th amendment allows the accused to present their witnesses and evidence during court trials.

Counsel

One of the essential Rights assigned to the accused is the right to representation by an attorney. If the accused cannot pay for an attorney, the court grants the accused an attorney a fair chance to fight the case. The accused also has the right to change the counsel if they feel that they are not adequately represented in the trial. The accused has to only request the same from the court.

Equal protection of the Law- 14th Amendment in the Bill of Rights

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment states that no state shall enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the united states: nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws. Click here to read more about equal protection of the law.

The three significant provisions under the 14th Amendment are 

  • The Citizenship clause
  • The Due Process clause
  • The Equal Protection clause

Understanding the Equal Protection of the laws Clause

“No State shall enforce.”

The above mentions the word enforce. It implies by any means such as taking into custody, provoking, holding at gunpoint, or even harassing the citizens. The law strictly prohibits any government officer from getting a confession by force from a victim, accused, or their relatives or family members.

Abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the US

Every citizen of the US has equal rights and privileges. The enforcement from the state should not step over these rights, which cause the person to fight for their rights. The benefits of every citizen are confining to the 14th amendment of equal protection.

Nor shall any state deprive a person of life, liberty, or property.

It was a plan to bring the immigrant population from Africa and Latin into the US as slaves. The 14th amendment overthrew the oppressing laws that bound people in the US not to have the right to life, liberty, and property. A person has the right to live on the soil of the US. They have equal opportunities as shared with the other Americans. The Right to own property inside the country should be no discrimination based on the person’s color, race, or creed.

The above speaks about protecting US citizens from discriminative laws. There were several revisions to the 14th amendment. Implementing the 14th amendment meant that they would have to give up their rights over the slave and provide them a life of equals. 

Equal protection of Law

When we speak of equal protection under the law, it is a history in itself. In the 21st century, we have women standing equal to men; all people of race, color, gender, and creed are equal and equal representation in global organizations.

The US is not immune to the harsh past when it comes to slavery and discrimination against women.

The black people were not free to attend schools and colleges. When slight progress happened, they would put up a board for separation between the blacks and white when it came to restrooms, movie theatres, restaurants, and even schools. The whites considered themselves a privileged class that would overthrow any chance of opportunity against the people of a darker shade of skin.

The 14th amendment was successful after multiple oppositions to overthrow such inhumane crimes against people. 

The constitution recognizes the same and provided the right to life, liberty, and property on American soil. Citizenship recognized as equal citizens of the US. They have equal opportunities for education, jobs, representation in the government, and even the judiciary system.

Summary

The 6th amendment holds strong support to the accused in any case or trial. It is through this opportunity that various falsely accused people. It has helped convicted criminals to have a fair chance to stand a trial and reduce their sentence with the help of constitutional rights. The 14th Amendment is divided into five sections, but section one explains precisely why equal protection of the law is essential for all United States citizens.

Not knowing anything about the rights will be an unfavorable option for you. Getlegal.com gets the most detailed information about the Sixth Amendment simplified and makes the most out of it.

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