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Role in Criminal Procedure of US Constitution - Essay Example

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This paper “Role in Criminal Procedure of US Constitution” aims to understand the impact and relevance that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have on the organization of the modern criminal procedure. The author determines two important elements of criminal procedure - the jury and venue…
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Role in Criminal Procedure of US Constitution
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US Constitution and Its Role in Criminal Procedure Outline The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights incorporatecrucial points to American criminal procedure.
2. In the US Constitution, Article III, Section. 2, Clause 3 describes the elements of venue and method of criminal procedure.
3. In the Bill of Rights, Amendment V explains such incorporations as type of punishment, double jeopardy, self-incrimination and the right for judicial process.
4. Amendment VI deals with the rights of a defendant such as information, public and speedy trial, having an attorney, witnesses in one’s favor and confronting those witnessing against one.
5. Amendment VIII deals with the concept of bail for a defendant.
The United States of America is recognized as possessing one of the most defined criminal procedures in the world. This is subjected to the heavy reliance of the procedure on the primary documents that ensure the statehood of the country, which are the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights that includes Amendments demonstrating the changes and development of American democracy throughout centuries. Both the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have specific parts that contain text relevant to defining criminal procedure. The rights that are being indicated within the documents include pre-trial rights, trial rights and rights that are not specified in time and being applied throughout the proceeding. Currently, there is an ongoing debate about how corresponding and up to date this conformity is and whether it is necessary to include changes in criminal procedure. This paper aims to understand the impact and relevance that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have on the organization of the modern criminal procedure in the US.
In the US Constitution itself, there is an Article that includes provision for both pre-trial and trial rights. Article III, Section. 2, Clause 3 indicates that “[t]he Trial of all Crimes […] shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed […]” (National Archives, “Constitution of the United States, Art.III, §.2, cl.3”, 1787) This passage determines two important elements of criminal procedure, namely the jury and venue. These are crucial while they describe the place and method of criminal procedure.
As for the Bill of Rights, there are several Amendments that are relevant to the current research question. To be more specific, Amendments Fifth, Sixth and Eight seem to be the most important to determining criminal procedure. Within the Fifth Amendment, there are several crucial points to understand in regard to criminal procedure. First, this Amendment rejects punishment for capital or infamous crimes except for specific cases. Similarly, in the Eight Amendment, it is stated that “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required”, nor “excessive fines, nor cruel and unusual punishments.” (National Archive, “Bill of Rights, Amendment VIII”, 1789) Second, Amendment V also indicates that one person will not be answering twice for the same crime. Third, any person has the right not to witness against oneself. Finally, the Amendment does not allow the punishment of a person without due juridical process. (National Archive, “Bill of Rights, Amendment V”, 1789). The Sixth Amendment, likewise, provides the right of “speedy and public trial” for any person. (National Archive, “Bill of Rights, Amendment VI”, 1789) Moreover, this Amendment also states that the defendant has the right to be informed of the accusation and have witnesses in one’s favor and confront those witnessing against one. Most importantly, it allows the defendant to have “the Assistance of Counsel” to defend one.
To understand the importance of the Amendments to the criminal procedure, it is possible to summarize that they describe such elements as venue, confrontation, self-incrimination, double jeopardy, as well as rights of the defendant including information, publicity and speedy trial, due process, bail, attorney, witnesses in one’s favor. These elements, similarly to those that are found within the Article III of the US Constitution, are extended in time meaning that they are of both pre-trial and trial nature.
In summary, the research obviously indicates the importance of impact that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have on criminal procedure. Moreover, it is possible to state that the basis of the procedure is based upon the separate parts of these two documents since they describe such elements as venue, method and organization of the trial, pre-trial procedure, as well as major defendant’s rights. The major parts of the documents that are important for criminal procedure are Article III of the US Constitution and Amendments V, VI and VIII of the Bill of Rights.
References
National Archives. (1789). Bill of Rights. The Charters of Freedom. Retrieved August 27, 2015, from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
National Archives. (1787). Constitution of the United States. The Charters of Freedom. Retrieved August 27, 2015, from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html Read More
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