|Essay type:||Analytical essays|
|Categories:||Criminal law Court system Judicial system|
This paper aims to discuss the pretrial process. The article mainly focuses on the defendant's rights during the trial period, as well as how defined rights with respect to a constitutional amendment can be assured. There are several rights given to criminal defendants during the trial or when accused of having committed a crime. A person becomes a criminal defendant when charged or arrested. The arrested person has several rights that take effect once they have been arrested. Some common rights include an impartial judge, an impartial jury, speedy trial right, and the right to remain silent. Criminal defendants also have the right not to be tried for the double standard. The paper, however, covers an impartial jury, an impartial judge, and a right to a speedy trial.
Considering the pretrial process, several phases take place before the actual trial. Some of the main steps include preliminary hearing plea bargaining, arraignment, booking, and arrest. Arresting an individual occurs when a law enforcement officer has prior prove or probable that the accused person committed a crime. An arrest may also occur when a law enforcement officer sees a crime being carried out after an arrest had been made, the accused is presented to the police station and then booked (McLaughlin, 2019).
A law enforcement agent takes fingerprints and records a statement for the defendant. A condition of release usually follows after booking. Bail is considered as the initial phase of court proceedings in a criminal case. The judge reads the accused person's charges during the arraignment stage. The criminal defendant is then asked whether they gage an attorney and whether they need one. The defendant is also asked to state his/her plea. After making a plea, the criminal defendant proceeds to plea bargaining, where most cases are terminated. In an event where the defendant agrees for a given appeal, the primary goal to get reduced punishment weight compared to what they could get for a guilty trial. A preliminary hearing is held when the defendant does not readily agree with the plea bargain.
During the process of "Voir dire," judges and lawyers select the juries. It is a Latin word that means "speak the truth." During the jury selection, attorney general and the judges who are involved in a case question potential juror so as they can determine if they are suitable to serve in a certain criminal case. The potential jurors are listed randomly, and then their names are taken from a list of driver's licenses, I.D. renewals, and registered voters. The prospective jurors whose names are selected from the list get a mail notifying them the time they are needed for service.
The Right to a Speedy Trial
According to the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, any defendant has a right to get a speedy trial for their cases (Spohn, 2019). The right to a speedy trial begins as soon as they have been arrested and the defendant's charges have been filed. Besides, a person facing felony charges has the right to a speedy trial. Also, as per the Sixth Amendment, an imprisoned person has the right to have a speedy trial. The justification for a person to have a speedy trial is to reduce anxiety while waiting for their case to be resolved, to evade unfounded imprisonment, which could be lengthy and to ensure the defendant can defend against their charges (Spohn, 2019).
The to an Impartial Judge and Jury
When it comes to criminal cases, every defendant has the right to be tried by an unbiased and impartial judge. It is so according to the process clause made in the fifth and Fourteenth constitutional amendments. As the statutory law suggests, any judge involved in solving a certain criminal case should disqualify themselves in a case where they have been witnesses, have given counsel, or where have shown substantial interest.
Also, a justice or a judge should disqualify themselves in a case where they are related to any party involved, or if they are related to the attorney. It is so because it is rendered improper for them to partake in such a trial alongside the proceedings involved. Judges who give decisions without being bias constitute an impartial and fair jury (Thurmon, 2019). It is a requirement for them as per the Sixth Amendment.
A fair jury trial is essential to all systems of justice, and mostly, it is important to our democracy. To have a fair trial, the attorney handling a case is supposed to prevent any illicit responses from other jurors before the test. However, a trial attorney should be keen to identify if a prospective juror has implicit biases concerning a certain case. If the trial attorney confirms that the prospective juror has implicit bias, they should be removed from the panel.
Everyone has a right to have a fair trial, no matter the intensity of the crime committed. Every defendant has the right to have a speedy trial, an impartial jury, and an impartial judge. The defendants can also choose to waive their rights.
McLaughlin, E. J. (2019). Jury Trial, Public Trial and Free Press in Juvenile Proceedings: An Analysis and Comparison of the IJA/ABA, Task Force, and NAC Standards. Brook. L. Rev., 46, 1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/brklr46§ion=10
Spohn, C. (2019). An analysis of the "jury trial penalty" and its effect on black and white offenders. Justice professional, 7(1), 93-112. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1478601X.1992.10383005
Thurmon, M. A. (2019). Ending the Seventh Amendment Confusion: A Critical Analysis of the Right to a Jury Trial in Trademark Cases. Tex. Intell. Prop. L.J., 11, 1.
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