Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Criminal Justice, Government, Crime, Law, Clause, Defendant, Politics, Amendment

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/24


Anyone indicted with delinquency according to the law is designated as a criminal defendant. The government is hereby required to file a case against them in order to substantiate that they are guilty as charged for them to be convicted and penalized for their crimes. However, the constitutions warranties criminal defendants certain rights which frontier how the government probes, prosecutes as well as castigates criminal offenses. Some of these rights include the right to remain silent, right to a speedy trial, the right to an impartial judge and the right to an impartial jury.
There have been fears that defendants sometimes are exposed to unfear treatment due to the lack of sufficient mechanisms to assure their rights. This has led to the enactment of the sixth amendment of the constitutions asserting that the accused shall relish the right to a speedy as well as public trial, impartial jury of the state as well as the district where the offense shall have taken place, the district shall have been beforehand approved by law and to be educated in the type and reason for the indictment; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have obligatory procedure for getting witnesses in his courtesy, and to have the support of advisors for his defense.
The Sixth Amendment trial clause guarantees offenders these separate personal freedoms; the right to speedy trial, the right to an impartial jury, the right to a public trial, the right to challenge as well as to grill antagonistic witness, the right to coerce auspicious witness to attest at hearing courtesy of the compelling supremacy of the judiciary as well as the right to legitimate counsel (Erickson, 1972).
Having been endorsed in 1791, the Sixth Amendment in the beginning applied only to criminal activities filed by the federal government. During the course of the last few decades, most of the defenses guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment have been made pertinent to the state governments under the principle of selective incorporation. Under the same policy, the due course as well as related protection clause of the fourteenth Amendment necessitates that each to distinguish some fundamental rights that are numbered in the bill of rights for such rights are considered indispensable to the concepts of freedom and equality. In addition to the supremacy clause of Article VI, prohibits any state from providing less protection for a right conferred by the sixth amendment than is provided under the federal constitution.
The right to a speedy trial was first exercised in England in the the12th century by Assize of Clarendon, who argued that justice needs to be provided to criminals speedily enough. The founding fathers who established the trial clause believed that it would ensure that criminals do not languish in jails for an indefinite period of time (Erickson, 1972). It was designed to minimize the period of time in which a defendant’s life will be disrupted by anxiety and investigations related to public criminal processes, as well as to limit the possibilities of a prolonged delay prior to trial will damage the ability of the defendant to concoct his defense.
According to Erickson (1972) Courts have observed that the longer it takes for the trial to start, the more like it will be for the witnesses to vanish, evidence to be lost or damaged, and the memories to dwindle. It is significant to note that a person’s rights to a speedy trial kicks off ones the government has arrested charged or if not lawfully accused him of a criminal offense. However, before any form of official accusation, the government is not obliged to adhere to the Sixth Amendment clause to discover, probe, charge or indict a defendant within a given period of time. The speedy trial clause is also not exercised in relation to post-trial criminal proceedings like probation as well as parole hearings. Similarly, a person is not entitled to and should not raise a speedy trial claim ones the government has dropped the criminal charges against them. It remains as it is even if the government re-files those charges afterward. Nonetheless, the government is obliged to conform to fairness requirements stated in the due process clause throughout the criminal proceeding (Schneider, 1968).
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has failed to define clearly and distinguish permissible pretrial delays that are impermissibly unwarranted. In its place, the court has created a balancing test where the delay period is treated as one aspect when assessing the merits of a speedy trial claim (Erickson, 1972). Other considerations that need to be factor by the court include, the cause for delay, the severity of the injury underwent by the defendant as a result of the delay and the point in time during the cause of criminal proceedings when the defendant proclaimed the right to speedy trial. Defends who fail to assert this is right at the required time during a criminal proceeding, or who acquiesce in the event of a prolonged pretrial delay, certainly are unqualified for a speedy trial claim (Schneider, 1968). Similarly, defendants who act in a manner that prolongs the pretrial period also forfeit their rights to a speedy trial as well. However, delays related to the government like those that are due to prosecutorial negligence in the handling of defendants’ files violate the speedy trial clause. The law also states that a delay that exceeds a year in bringing a defendant to trial after an arrest is made will automatically signify that the Sixth Amendment clause has been violated. In such a situation, the government may overcome this presupposition by rendering a conceivable reason that caused the delay. The court may or may not pardon prolonged delays the moment the prosecution requests for more time to prepare for a strong case. The moment the prosecutor offers only incredible causes for delay; courts usually have terminated the prosecution, reversed the conviction, or dropped the sentence, according to the remedy beseeched by the defendant.
The judge enjoys massive authority in both civil laws as well as common law criminal justice systems. Since this power is inexplicably greater than those of criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor, a defendant is entitled to the right to trial by impartial judge. (Grannis, 1987) argues that the trial clause protects the defendant by demanding for a jury composed of representatives from across the community. This is what is known as the jury pool. This is followed by the creation of a panel of jurors from the jury pool mandated to hear the case. During the hearing of the case, the presiding judge, prosecution as well as the lawyer for the accused is allowed to ask any member of the jury questions that could otherwise help in determining or uncovering any form of biases and prejudices that may render the jury impartial. The jurors who are eventually impaneled for a trial should never represent a cross-section of the community on condition that each juror upholds neutrality throughout the proceedings. The presence of even a single biased juror is forbidden by the Sixth Amendment trial clause.


Erickson, W. H. (1972). Right to a Speedy Trial: Standards for Its Implementation, The. Hous. L. Rev., 10, 237.
Grannis, M. A. (1987). Safeguarding the Litigant's Constitutional Right to a Fair and Impartial Forum: A Due Process Approach to Improprieties Arising from Judicial Campaign Contributions from Lawyers. Michigan Law Review, 382-419.
Kafker, S. (1985). The Right to Venue and the Right to an Impartial Jury: Resolving the Conflict in the Federal Constitution. The University of Chicago Law Review, 729-750.
Schneider, A. L. (1968). The Right to a Speedy Trial. Stanford Law Review, 476-503

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Jury Trial Analysis Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/jury-trial-analysis-essays-example/. Published Dec 24, 2020. Accessed April 14, 2024.

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