Forensic evidence used for the research
The forensic evidence used for our study is firearm which is considered to be a physical form of evidence. A suspect in possession of a firearm in most cases is considered dangerous. Therefore, the police need to ensure that they are armed before confronting such a suspect. Additionally, a police officer needs to ensure that he or she carries a warrant. This is because every American citizen has a right to his or her own privacy. The case of firearms as evidence has become very crucial in America because of the gun laws introduced which provide that every one with a good mental state can be issued with a gun.
There is an outrageous number of criminal actions in America that happen each second in every hour as a result of firearms. Therefore, it becomes very crucial that justice should be adhered to just as the constitution states. Consequently, some amendments have been done to ensure the rights of the people are thoroughly reprimanded. It is however noted that the 4th,5th, and 6th amendments include the significant adjustments of America's constitution. It covers both juvenile issues and adult issues although the court is very vital because it determines the fate of the criminal actions. A criminal integrity agent that is the judges, law enforcers should always ensure that the constitutional rights are followed to the latter. To avoid any cases of injustice that may arise. Additionally, it is essential to provide that before a criminal is convicted all the evidence is collected to ensure that a jury has all the evidence to term an individual either guilty or not guilty. For our case, the forensic evidence used will be firearms considered to be physical evidence.
The process of granting justice to the afflicted during a case can be termed as a criminal procedure. It is an authorization by the constitution for the government to pursue the correct criminal procedure in every case handled. The method includes this process encompasses the initial stages of examination, apprehensions, allegation, compromise, hearings preceding the main trial, a proposition that carries on after the trial, interrogation before sentencing, petition, probations (Maddex, 2002). Therefore, constitutional rights are very significant section during the procedure because it ensures that justice is administered fairly to all despite the age difference. However, other arms of criminal justice department have an obligation to gather forensic evidence.
Constitutional rights are implemented to protect the innocent and weak from the guilty and wicked from whichever type of prejudice that may occur when reprimanded to the criminal regulation (Russell, 2001). Therefore, a person is considered to be not guilty until proven guilty. This ensures that the police must carry warrants before they can search for any forensic evidence in a suspect's territory. Additionally, the constitutional rights prevent the illegal integrity agents from treating these people capriciously. These legal protections are set up in three regions at the national level. They include the eighteenth title of USA code segments 3001, the domestic law of criminal process and the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments. However, this paper will narrow down to the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments and their effects on the daily operation of criminal cases.
The Fourth Amendment: Exclusionary Rule
This amendment covers the right to be free from any form of arrests or searches. All Americans citizens should feel secure in their homes; therefore, searches that make them feel insecure are unlawful according to the United States Constitution. For an arrest or search to be carried out, it must be issued only at a time when there is proof of a valid reason (Cammack, 2010). It is also necessary to back it up with an affirmation or an oath that also reflects the place where the arrest is to be carried out. Since the fourth amendment forbids arbitrary searches, a warrant of search is necessary. According to the Supreme Court of America, it is held that this amendment prohibits unreasonable searches, though it does not provide for the requirement of a warrant for every search.
The interpretation of the 4th Amendment according to the Court is that all evidence which is obtained from unreasonable searches (e.g., without a warrant) cannot be used in the trial. Nonetheless, this law is not absolute. There are some instances where it can be overlooked. An exception to this restricted rule is when the law enforcement officers are acting in good faith in following the criminal procedures. This constitutes the fluid area of this case law, and it has undergone many changes over the past years. For many years now, the Supreme Court has made many interpretations to allow police searches without warrants in the following areas: persons arrested; things that the arrested persons were in "immediate control" and properties in which there is a firm conviction that there might be individuals who are in immediate danger. Evidence from these situations can be included in the court during a trial.
The Fifth Amendment: Miranda Warnings
This constitutional right deals with apprehensions that touch on following the right procedures regarding multiple trials (Double Jeopardy), the death penalty as well as self-discrimination. It stipulates that no American citizen should be deprived of of-of his or her liberty or property without following the right procedure provided by the law (Berry, 2003). It also says that nobody should be made to answer for any capital offense except when the jury hears the presentment. It finalizes by instructing that an individual who has been subjected to an assault that has jeopardized their life once should not be tried for the same offense again.
There are some exceptions to the Miranda warnings. One of the limitations includes cases that involve the armed forces (i.e., land and navy), any militia group or those who were serving during the war. This amendment also avails to the defendant the right to discontinue from testifying against them. Arrested individuals have the right to stay silent and the right to get a lawyer. This safeguards the individual from involuntary confessions resulting from increased pressure from the police. It is mandatory these days for the police to read out the Miranda rights to those they arrest. Failure to adhere to the Miranda rights is enough to render a case inadmissible. However, the detained individual is still obliged under the law to make a lineup for any victim to identify them. The Supreme Court has also interpreted this amendment to attest that the Self-Incrimination Clause does not hold in such a situation since the arrested individuals do not have any privacy interests.
The Fifth Amendment again offers other rights to the arrested individual in the course of the criminal procedure. The arrested individuals have the right to a grand jury, which must indict him before he can stand in federal court for trial (Cicchini2012) notes that most of the American states have not adhered to this clause and that they only rely on the prosecutor's prosecution information, which might be biased sometimes. A grand jury should comprise of between16 to 23 individuals. They must be from the district that the suspect committed the crime. A majority vote by the grand jury is enough to revert an indictment that is made against a defendant in either an adult or juvenile court.
The 6th Amendment: Right to get a lawyer and Speedy Trial
During the procedure, the individual has the privileges of a trial. A jury of the district and state should conduct this where the crime occurred. The amendment also provides the charged individual a chance to have the Assistance from a lawyer in her or his justification during the trial (Feld & Schaefer 2010). Other provisions of this amendment include: the charged individual has the right to a fair trial. The panel of judges from the state that the transgression occurred should be impartial. The charged persons should be made to be aware of the reason why they are being arrested and as well as the nature of the case, and the accused should also be produced to confront those who witness against them not forgetting to give them a chance for obtaining witnesses for their defense.
When an individual gets arrested, the rights under the Sixth Amendment come into play. An individual's right to a speedy trial starts from the time he or she is captured, through the indictment up to sentencing. Before an individual is sentenced in a court of law, either the government is not under any compulsion by any statutory or the constitution to investigate, accuse or prosecute the suspects under the duration of any specific amount of time. There has been a tendency by the Supreme Court to avoid clarifying the time that is considered a delay or that which is permissible for a trial of the suspect. It has instead turned to gauge the reason for a delay in the lawsuit against injustices that the suspect suffers from. For instance, a trial that takes a whole year is considered a violation of the Right to Speedy Trial whereas any suspect who lengthens his or her pretrial time because of own actions risks lowering the ability to claim this right. Failure to proclaim this right at the early stages of the trial also hurts the chances of requesting it.
In juvenile courts, the juveniles are provided with some constitutional protections based on the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. The Fourth Amendment demands that any minor who is arrested unreasonably must be entitled to a probable cause hearing. The Exclusionary Rule safeguards suspect facing Federal adjudications. Any evidence that is obtained illegally is deemed not to hold in a court of law. In the course of a juvenile hearing, the Fifth Amendment becomes crucial since the liberty of the juveniles is compromised. It protects them against self-incrimination. Concerning the Sixth Amendment, the adults and juveniles have a right to a counsel and a speedy trial. When it comes to the underage suspects, the police are compelled to inform the minors of all Miranda warnings before they can undertake a custodial investigation. During an arrest, Miranda rights should be read to both adults and juveniles. The above three amendments have been pivotal in protecting the rights of the innocent and the guilty.
Berry, W. E. (2003). Miranda Rights and Cyberspace Realities: Risks to "the Right to Remain Silent." Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 18(3-4), 230-249.
Cammack, M. E. (2010). The Rise and Fall of the Constitutional Exclusionary Rule in the United States. American Journal of Comparative Law, 58(0), 631-658.
Cicchini, M. D. (2012). Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy our Constitutional Rights. Lanham: Rowman& Littlefield Publishers.
Feld, B. C., & Schaefer, S. (2010). The Right to Counsel in Juvenile Court.Criminology & Public Policy, 9(2), 327-356.
Maddex, R. L. (2002). The U.S. Constitution A to Z. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Russell, M. (2001). Responsibilities of Second Chambers: Constitutional and Human Rights Safeguards. The Journal of Legislative Studies, 7(1), 61-76.
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