A the bill of rights and criminal justice most of the

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A. The Bill of Rights and Criminal Justice Most of the Bill of Rights is devoted to protecting the rights of the accused. These rights were originally intended primarily to protect the accused in political arrests because the British abuse of colonial political leaders was still fresh in the memory of Americans. They had experienced all kinds of abuses, no trials, torture, unable to confront witnesses or speak to others. Today the protections of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments are mostly applied to criminal justice cases. The Bill of Rights covers every stage of the criminal justice system, police, prosecutors, and judges must behave in accordance to the Bill of Rights. Any misstep can invalidate a conviction. STAGE PROTECTIONS Evidence/Investigation 4th Amendment (unreasonable Search and seizure) Suspicion Cast Article I, Section 9 (forbids imprisonment without evidence) Arrest Made 6th Amendment (right to counsel) Interrogation Held 8th Amendment (excessive bail) 5th Amendment (self- incrimination) 6th Amendment (right to counsel) Indictment 5th Amendment (Grand jury) Arraignment 6th Amendment (right to counsel) Trial Article III, section 2 (trial by jury); 6th Amendment (speedy and public trial and right to confront witness); 4th Amendment (exclusionary rule) Sentencing 8th Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) Appeal 5th Amendment (double jeopardy) Some of the major areas of defendant’s rights that have been most controversial and resulted in public policy decisions include the following: B. Searches and Seizures Police need evidence to make an arrest. Before making an arrest police need probable cause to believe that someone is guilty of a crime. Evidence might include fingerprints, 3
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ISS 225 Crime blood stains, DNA, a weapon, etc. to use in court. The Fourth Amendment specifically forbids unreasonable searches and seizures. The Constitution requires that no court may issue a search warrant unless probable cause exists to believe that a crime has occurred or is about to. Warrants must specify the area to be searched and the material sought. Again, what “unreasonable” is vague. Over the years the Supreme Court has interpreted the Fourth Amendment to allow police to search without a warrant: 1. The person arrested 2. Things in plain view of the accused persons 3. Places or things that the arrested person could touch or reach or are otherwise in the arrestee's immediate control. Warrantless searches usually occur at the time of arrest. Police may also search if they are in hot pursuit. They can stop and frisk a suspect. The Court has ruled that searches can be made without a warrant if consent is obtained. To conduct more extensive searches of houses, offices, or any place where an individual would reasonably expect privacy a search warrant must be obtained.
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  • Fall '07
  • Williams
  • Criminal Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Bill of Rights

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