In the contemporary American law system, the primary rights of the accused are administrated by the Bill of Rights. The regulation includes the first ten amendments of the Constitution and concerns the rights of the citizens. These standards are necessary for the functional operation of the juridical processes in the country. The current work highlights the rights of the suspects during all phases of accusation and explains why they are essential for the law system.
Phases of the Accusation
The first stage of accusation is the suspicion phase, and the Bill of Rights provides sufficient protection for the citizens of the country. For instance, the Fourth Amendment bans official structures from breaking into private property without apparent evidence of a crime. Therefore, if an individual is suspected of illegal activity, law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant to inspect the estate of the suspect. The Fourth Amendment is particularly significant since it regulates the balance of governmental power and protects the personal space of citizens.
The consequent stage of accusation is the arrest phase, and there are several means of how the Bill of Rights grants protection for the suspects. First of all, the Fifth Amendment provides the citizens the right to remain silent and refrain from giving testimony to law enforcement officers. The primary aim of this regulation is to ensure that suspects are not threatened into the confession of the crime. Secondly, the Sixth Amendment requires that the defendant is informed about the nature of his or her crimes. Overall, these two regulations provide additional safety measures from unjustified arrest attempts.
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments ensure the rights of the suspects during the trial and sentencing phases of the accusation. The former states that severe crimes must be proceeded by a grand jury which comprises a group of citizens that independently and anonymously evaluate the evidence of the crime. The Sixth Amendment permits an individual the right to a public trial, allows him or her to meet the witnesses, and be represented by a lawyer in court. Concerning the sentencing phase, the Eight Amendment does not permit cruel and unjust punishment for the suspects. Overall, the rights of the individuals in the mentioned two phases are protected by the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.
While the Bill of Rights has no particular mentions of the appeal phase, every American citizen is entitled to ask for the revision of the case if they decide that the verdict is unjustified. This possibility to reconsider the outcomes of the court trial is significant since the number of wrongfully convicted individuals is still high. For instance, according to the National Registry of Exonerations (2021), in 2020, more than a hundred people were acquitted. In general, it proves that the juridical system has its flaws and that the right to appeal is necessary for the due process of law.
To avoid unjustified verdicts and convictions, the juridical system should follow the policy of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, and the Bill of Rights ensures that this doctrine is strictly obeyed. The current work demonstrates how the rights of the defendant are supported by the amendments at every stage of the accusation process. The essay also highlights why exactly it is essential that the rights of the citizens are protected by the national laws.
The National Registry of Exonerations. (2021). Exonerations by year and type of crime. Web.