Right to Counsel

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Right to Counsel Paper
The right to counsel is a right that is stated in the Constitution of the United States. The Sixth Amendment clearly states that the defendant has the right to counsel. The Sixth Amendment states, “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 or her defense.” ("Sixth Amendment", 2012). This then means that a defendant has a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney during trial. It also means that if the defendant cannot afford an attorney, in almost all instances the government will appoint one to handle the case, at no cost to the defendant. While the right to counsel is discussed, a suspect has the right to a lawyer at almost every important phase of the criminal process, typically from arrest through the first appeal after conviction. In order for the American criminal justice system to function properly, both the state and the defendant must be represented by knowledgeable and understanding attorneys. This is important mainly for the defendant since he or she is the one who will be facing the charges. Without effective representation the defendant risks jail or even death. The right to counsel was brought to us by English colonists who were simply following what they were previously taught. The only difference was the right to counsel was only available for some circumstances and not all cases. Most of the educated class believed that in all cases one should have the right to hire an outside attorney or in these days represent oneself. “If a person chooses to deny counsel and represent himself in...
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