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Rights Of The Accused: Constitutional Rights
The constitution of the United States has been drafted in such a way that all have equal rights and all of the rights of individuals are protected. In the same context, the rights of the accused are the rights that serve to protect every accused from being the victim of any kind of injustice.
So, understanding what are the rights of the accused? How can such rights be implemented? can be a little confusing. The 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments to the United Constitution work to protect the rights of the accused and these rights are giving chance to the accused for a fair trial and are the privileges given to the accused so that he/she has a chance to prove oneself.
5th Amendment in protecting the rights of the accused:
The double jeopardy clause, self-incrimination clause, and the due process clause of the 5th amendment were specially made keeping in mind the accused and fair justice.
The Self-incrimination Clause annotates that the accused shall not be forced to answer any question or give any statement that may serve a proof against him that is if the accused think that answering the question may go against him then he can keep quiet or deny answering the question.
The Double Jeopardy Clause protects the accused of being punished twice and that too for the same crime.
The Due Process Clause protects the accused from unjustified proceeding that is the accused have the right to hire an attorney, confront the witness so that there is a fair trial process.
The clause states that no one’s life, liberty, and property shall be taken without the due process of law.
Due process is the phrase that is used twice in the U.S constitution first in the fifth amendment and then in the fourteenth amendment.
6th amendment in protecting the rights of the accused:
The 6th amendment was made specially focussing on the rights of the criminal and laws for the criminals. It incorporates seven liberties for the criminals so that they can have justified legal proceedings:
Speedy Trial Clause works to reduce the burden of anxiety and disturbance in life as it reduces the number of days spent in jail before trial. The speedy trial prohibits the state from increasing the length of the case without any reason.
Public Trial Clause prevents the state from having a secret or closed trial, the accused have the right to a public trial.
The impartial Jury Clause works to take a justified and impartial decision. The involvement of an impartial jury in the serious crime decides on the facts and evidence without being biased and the whole process of trial that is cross-questioning, presenting the witnesses is done in the presence of jurors.
Right to be informed lets the accused be informed of the charge with a prior notice having the details and elements of the charge.
The Confrontation Clause gives a more chance for a fair trial in which the accused have the right to cross-question the witness so that the accused is ensured that there will be no injustice in the legal proceedings.
The right to call a witness gives the right to the accused to call his witness who can favor him.
Right to Assistance for legal counsel gives the right to the accused for hiring an attorney and if the accused is incapable of hiring an attorney then the state provides them with one.
8th Amendment in protecting the rights of the accused:
The eighth amendment prohibited the government from imposing excessive bail, fines, and giving unusual or cruel punishment to the accused:
The excessive bail clause relieves the accused from paying the excess amount for the bail that is the judge cannot post excessive bail for getting freed from the p[olice custody. The amount should be reasonable to pay.
The excessive fine clause prohibits the state from imposing a high amount or unreasonable penalty for the crimes committed. The penalty should be enough reasonable for the accused to pay and according to the crime committed.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause tends to be very helpful for the accused, as it protects the accused from unruly and cruel punishment.
In brief, it can be stated that the Rights of the Accused are the laws made for the criminals so that their rights are protected and they have a fair chance for justice. The 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments were added to the constitution of the U.S focussing on the rights of the accused so that there should be no partiality by the state in taking decisions. The right to have an attorney, confront witnesses, due process clause, self-incrimination, double jeopardy clause, right to a speedy trial, be informed, call witnesses, and prohibition of excessive bail, fines, and cruel punishment, all these together work to give a fair chance of trial to the accused.
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