October 08, 2009

The Sixth Amendment.

"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 guarantees the right to a speedy trial-- this means that the prosecution has a set number of days to bring their case against the defendant. It also states that citizens has the right to an impartial jury if they so choose to have a jury, meaning that the jury would be made up of people who had no personal ties to anyone that was a part of the trial and would also have little to no background information on the case at hand. Along with this, the accused is also allowed to see those who are testifying against them. They are also allowed to confront these witnesses in person. Lastly, the six amendment ensures that the accused have the right to speak to an attorney as well as be notified of all charges he or she is being charged with at the time. The sixth amendment protects all people who may be going into the criminal court to make the trial as fair and impartial as possible. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. OJ Simpson's case for example-- how easy would it be to find an "impartial" jury for that case?

This video depicts that sometimes a "speedy" trial is not really as speedy as the accused would like. Sometimes cases can take years to finally go to court.

This video is an attorney explaining the sixth amendment in very simple terms.