PA260 Criminal Law
Professor M. Chiacchia
September 24, 2013
The Sixth Amendment of the constitution of the United States and is a portion of the Bill of Rights and concerns the rights that the prosecution enjoys in case of criminal trials and Harr states “it is there to achieve fair criminal prosecution” Harr, 2002, p.320). There are various rights that are allotted to the prosecution under this Amendment and there are certain limitations associated with the level at which these rights can be enjoyed.
Under the Sixth Amendment a defendant who has been charged with criminal activity has a right to a speedy trial. Under the Sixth Amendment if a defendant’s right to a speedy trial is violated, the end result is that the case is either dismissed or the overturning of the conviction takes place as a remedy. The 6th Amendment even states that if a case have been heavily publicized and ...view middle of the document...
Similarly, those defendants who fall in the category of juvenile do not have a right to such a trial. The Amendment even ensures that the jury is impartial in nature and has not been prejudiced due to coverage the case has received from media.
The Amendment even provides the right to the defendant of being able to confront the witness who is testifying against the defendant. The defendant is even provided with the right to have a public lawyer to defend his case if he does not has the ability to employ one and the defendant can even represent himself as a lawyer in the case only if the court rules him/her competent enough.
The Sixth Amendment clause of the speedy trial was applied to the case of Strunk vs. United States and in this case the defendant made the claim that his right for a speedy trial was denied for theft of automobile while he had already spend a huge period of trial for other cases and Garcia states “dismissal is the sole relief to cure speedy trial transgression” (Garcia, 1992, p.169). The court ruled that the defendant was denied the right to a speedy trial although the right was violated but overturning the case was not necessary and thus the case continued in the district court while a relaxation of 259 days in the sentencing period was provided to the defendant. Similarly the Sixth amendment was even applied in the case of Scott v. Illinois when he was not provided with a counsel on the grounds that the crime committed by the defendant was not severe in nature and the defendant only had a right to obtain counsel in cases of incarceration and Smith states “the Scott committed a minor offense and did not have a right to counsel” (Smith, 2003, p.47).
Garcia, A. (1992). The Sixth Amendment in modern American jurisprudence a critical perspective. New York: Greenwood Press.
Harr, J. S., & Hess, K. M. (2002). Constitutional law and the criminal justice system (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Smith, C. E. (2003). Courts and trials: a reference handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.