Recognizing Our Rights Essay

1179 words - 5 pages

We as citizens should recognize that any of our rights in the Constitution is subjected to continual interpretation by our courts, especially by the United States Supreme Court. As of today, our Sixth Amendment still allows us as American citizens to “Due Process”, as well as other important rights. This particular right requires police and government officials to recognize our due process rights, especially as suspects during an arrest, questioning, and handling. During an arrest and prior to questioning, a defendant is usually advised of their constitutional rights, as enumerated in the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Miranda V. Arizona. Our right to “due process” does not hold an discrimination to whether you are a poor or rich person, first time criminal or repeat offender, or even an adult or juvenile. The Sixth Amendment specifically states, among other things, that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right….to have the Assistance of Counsel for his/her defense.” Only the U. S. Supreme Court has interpreting the constitution, has stated/ruled that, “the states would furnish counsel to who could not afford one.” Classification of defendants who could not afford their own counsel is labeled in court as “Indigents.’” In any crime, a defendant has their due process rights. These rights are why police officials have to maintain, obtain, and follow certain procedures in order to not violate these defendants’ rights. When it comes to questioning and line-ups, the requirements that police have to maintain are pretty much the same with any defendant, any age, in any situation.

The Sixth Amendment gives a criminal defendant the right “to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” When a defendant has already hired a lawyer, police must wait until the defendants counsel is present before the law official’s question him or have him involved in a line-up. Once the defendants counsel appears is when law officials administer Miranda-type warnings to accommodate the procedures that they are about to administer with the defendant. The case of United States v. Wade is one particular case that administered this procedure necessary. After law officials have obtained these warnings clearly is when the procedures may begin with the defendant, with his legal counsel. The reason for this accompanied legal counsel grants the defendant protection of self-incriminating himself and understands what is appropriate to answer or to not answer.

Within the case of Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963, the Supreme Court decided that, in serious criminal prosecutions, the government must provide counsel for indigent defendants. It is necessary for law officials to make sure before any procedures or questioning that the defendant has been aware and given their “due process” rights. To include if he cannot afford counsel, one would be provided for him through the courts. That without legal counsel any answers obtained within their...

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