Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amendment 6: Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

The sixth amendment discusses the right to a speedy trial and regulations in the courtroom.  All trials must take place in public so there are no conspiracies in the background.  Witnesses must also testify in public for the same reason.  The accused must be informed of the case and the nature of the accusation against him.  Juries must be made up of one's peers and must be unbiased.  These rules allow for a fair trial to take place.

This cartoon refers to the portion of the amendment that talks about a speedy trial.  In this image, the accused keeps interjecting with questions, slowing the trial down.  This is not what the amendment means.  A speedy trial means the case is heard at the first available date and not pushed back on the agenda unless there is a legitimate reason. 

The above website explains what a jury is required for and the regulations surrounding the job.  Etiquette and terms often used in trials are well defined.  I think this is a good website because it offers those performing jury duty a strong background on rules they should be aware of.

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