Criminal Procedure Policy
August 23, 2010
Criminal procedures are safeguards against the indiscriminate application of criminal laws and the wanton treatment of suspected criminals. Specifically, they are designed to enforce the constitutional rights of criminal suspects and defendants, beginning with initial police contact and continuing through arrest, investigation, trial, sentencing, and appeals. The main constitutional provisions regarding criminal procedure can be found in Amendments IV, V, VI, and XIV to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court for the first time began to extend the protections guaranteed in the Bill of Rights to exercises of power by state and local governments. That first decision and others since have been based on the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, adopted in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War, specifically the clause that prohibits the states from depriving any person of life, liberty or property without "due process of law." Due process model gives credibility to the principle that an individual cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. However the Crime control model for law enforcement is based on the assumption of absolute reliability of police fact-finding and treats arrestees as if they are already found guilty.
Criminal Procedure Policy
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution The main constitutional provisions regarding criminal procedure can be found in Amendments IV, V, VI, and VIII to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment covers The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. A warrant is a paper that shows judicial approval of a search or arrest. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Fourth Amendment does not require a warrant for all searches; rather, it prohibits unreasonable searches. All warrantless searches are unreasonable unless they are executed pursuant to one of several exceptions carved out by the Court. (The Free Dictionary, 2008) The Fifth Amendment states No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury … nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. (The Free Dictionary, 2008) The Sixth Amendment addresses the procedures required at trial. It provides, 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 defense. (The Free Dictionary, 2008) At first, these amendments were construed as applying only to federal prosecutions. The states were free to enact criminal procedures contrary to them until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment is divided into five sections. The amendment states ('Lectric Law Library's Lexicon, unknown) “SECTION 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the...
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