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Constitutional protections in criminal investigations - Essay Example

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Constitutional Protections [Name of the Student] [Name of the University] Constitutional Protections The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution provides certain privileges in federal proceedings. Although, these do not extend to state proceedings; several of the states have included them in their constitutions (Wyman, 1960, p…
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Download file to see previous pages However, in Minnesota v Murphy, an individual who was required to disclose the facts of an unrelated crime to his probation officer, was convicted on the basis of this information (Lupia, 1984, p. 673). With this ruling, the state was permitted to procure involuntary confessions that exploited the suspects’ ignorance regarding their constitutional rights. With the Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v Arizona, procedural safeguards were firmly established. These protections related to the right against self – incrimination (Grewell, 2005, p. 727). In addition, these rights ensured that the police did not resort to torture and other coercive measures during interrogation. Moreover, the reliability of the evidence obtained from the testimony of the witness was ensured (Grewell, 2005, p. 728). As such, the Fifth Amendment is crucial for the accused. The principal features of this amendment that provide protection are; the right against coerced self – incrimination, right to a grand jury, right to protection against double jeopardy, and the right to due process (Miller, Cross, & Jentz, 2008, p. 614). Moreover, this amendment precludes the government from coercing a suspect to provide a self – incriminatory testimony (Lupia, 1984, p. 674). ...
In addition, the decision in Miranda v Arizona, provides the right to an attorney to felony suspects. However, grand jury witnesses, who fail to enter immunity deals before giving evidence, usually are unaware of whether they are suspects, till such time as the hearings are not concluded. During the hearing such witnesses could be compelled to answer, in the absence of a lawyer. Failure to do so would lead to imprisonment. Such witnesses are also in danger of perjury traps, if they change the facts under oath (Welch, 2005). Under the provisions of the Fourth Amendment, no individual’s person or home can be examined and property impounded, in the absence of a proper warrant or if there is no such warrant, without some special necessity. The warrant should be on the basis of probable cause that evidence of a crime that had been committed could be procured from that place (United States Federal Laws Regarding Privacy and Personal Data and Applications to Biometrics, 2006). Consequently, the Fourth Amendment sanctions seizures and searches, under narrow and explicit circumstances. In order to prevent double punishments and duplicative trials, the Double Jeopardy Clause was introduced in US law. The protection offered by this clause was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Abney v United States (Cases, 2008, p. 2007). This decision was diametrically opposed to the decision in United States v Calabrese, wherein the majority permitted the trial to continue, without finalizing the double jeopardy claim (Cases, 2008, p. 2008). Moreover, the Sixth Amendment directs that the accused in every criminal prosecution shall be entitled to a public and speedy trial. Such trial is to be by an impartial jury of the state and district where the crime had been committed. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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