Over the centuries the rights of the accused have been a major issue, especially in the federal government of America. For better understanding of the issues described in this paper, it is important to first define and explain the origin of some terms. According to the ICC, the accused can be defined as an individual, or a group of individuals charged with a crime, or are under some form of legitimate trial or trials (David, 1992).
Consequently, the law defines the rights of the accused as the privileges for a person accused of a crime. Currently, in most modern legal systems including the federal law in the United States of America, the definition encompasses even the presumption of innocence until a person or group of persons are proven guilty (Samuel, 1980). It may include issues like the right to present any witness before the court, representation by an attorney or counsel depending on the country of the case, trial by the court or jury, the right to examine properly the accusers in the very case.
Other important aspects of this provision are the consequential barring to searches and seizures that are very unreasonable (Wilson, 2009). Among them, for instance are the right to a faster and speedy trial, as well as the right for an appeal and the guarantee for freedom from jeopardy twice. In the American society, an individual accused of a crime must be notified officially and immediately as pertains to the right to secure a counsel and the right to deny answering the questions, in case the questions are discriminatory, and in itself very incriminating.
Under the American constitution, the rights of the accused are contained in the chapter eight of the article the rights of the people or individual freedom and the bill of rights. It is the most important chapter regarding the procedural steps followed by the jury in various cases since it touches the common man in the country. Since time immemorial there has been several amendments made onto the chapter in the American constitution (David, 1992). Precisely, there have been fourteen amendments made on this important chapter in the US constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment states: “Nor shall any State deprive an individual of liberty, life or property without fair trial.”
The due process protects the accused against abuses by the federal government.
There is a number of rights that an individual is entitled to once he or she is accused of a crime in the United States of America. The list of these rights and freedoms is included in the final Fourteenth Amendment of the chapter dealing with the issue of rights of the accused. There are six specific rights that an accused individual receives. This paper illustrates the list in more detail below:
The right for indictment is available under the Fifth Amendment of the American constitution. It gives room for the public to understand that no individual is liable for questioning towards answering capital or otherwise very infamous crimes (Wilson, 2009). This could only happen when a presentation or indictment is done by a grand jury. The cases regarding the land or the naval forces, including the militia while in their actual service in the war or under public danger are exceptions to this provision under the very constitution.
Double jeopardy is another right, secured by the federal government against the accused under the Fifth Amendment of the constitution. This alleviates the possibility of an individual to be subjected to one form of trial twice or more. It especially deals with the crimes put in jeopardy of a life or limb sentences. In other words, no individual should be subjected to a life imprisonment after taking an appeal with a higher jury on the same case or crime. This greatly protects the accused against the common factors of double jeopardy (Samuel, 1980).
The self incrimination provision was amended by the federal government in the Fifth Amendment to help protect the accused persons from incriminating themselves. This right protects an individual from being a witness in his or her own case. Such prevents personal statements in the cases undertaken by the courts of justice as the accused will only rely on the third party witnesses’ statements in order to provide a tangible evidence before the jury (David, 1992). This clause prevents the manipulation of the court system by unscrupulous individuals, who may use bribes to corrupt the rule of law.
The Due Process of the Law
The federal government provides the protection for the accused and the general public by drafting the common bill of rights to the individuals in the country. This bill of rights is presented in the eighth chapter of the American constitution, and it creates the room for the law to defend any individual in the public arena (Wilson, 2009). It provides protection to the property of an individual, its’ life, and liberty. No one should be deprived of his or her property, life or liberty without the due course of the law, which implies fair trial.
Speedy trial is another forum in which the federal government protects the rights of the accused in the American society to have the right for a very fast trial process. The trial must be conducted by a very impartial jury of the district or state therein. This would also avoid unnecessary distortions of the evidences bordering the case in question (Samuel, 1980).
Information on the charges
The accused has the right to know all that appertains to the crime he or she is convicted of under the American constitution. He or she has to be notified of the nature, scope and cause of the accusation therein. The accused is also entitled to call for a defense attorney who will take the full responsibility of finding the witnesses needed in the case. The accused finally will require the assistance of the counsel provided by the federal government. This will help one in the defense against the case wherein (David, 1992).