Essay Example: The Rights of Citizens

Published: 2023-08-01
Essay Example: The Rights of Citizens
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Court system Judicial system Criminal justice
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1675 words
14 min read

The criminal justice system in any given country involves different players who could be agencies or individuals. Each of the participants in the system has roles and responsibilities to keep in the order. The system should be able to protect innocent citizens from those who can harm them (Barta, 2014). There are legislative and case laws that advocates for the rights of crime victims. Also, amendments exist that protect the suspects from possible violations of their rights by the officials in criminal justice. A professional in criminal justice is required to understand his responsibilities while in duty. The paper studies on given scenarios and evaluates the relevant amendments.

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Scenario 1

The scenario involves an 18-year-old student who entered the campus with a loaded handgun. The police were informed and arrived 10 minutes later. They searched the student, seized a gun and arrested the student. The student first denied possession of gum and then accepted while transported to the police station. After six hours, the student is interviewed and asks for a lawyer before making a statement.

The constitutional amendments that relate to the situation involve Amendment II, amendment IV, amendment V, and Amendment VI. In Amendment, II provides Americans with the right to keep and own handguns for self-defense (Barta, 2014). However, there are restrictions for carrying firearms in schools and parliament buildings. The offenders attract penalties. Amendment IV talks about searches conducted in public schools by school officials. It recognizes the public school officials as representatives of the state. The search in schools requires no warrant or probable cause. The pursuit of the purse is allowed to persons in the school as it is reasonable. Moreover, the search must have reasonable grounds for suspecting the student.

Amendment (V) narrates the reason for the inapplicability of the self-incrimination clause to the state. After that, the court developed new rules on the self-incrimination clause for admitting confessions made to police during cross-examination (Barta, 2014). The disclosures of interrogations made after unnecessary delay after suspect arrest are not appropriate. Although the court did not specify the minimum time that results in valid confessions, six hours after capture is recommended as a reasonable period. In Amendment (VI) grants the defendant the right to a lawyer, the right to know the charges piled and evidence gathered (Shea, 2011). If police violate the Amendment, the evidence obtained or statement is excluded. Physical evidence is exempted from the rulings of the Sixth Amendment.

To ensure that the evidence was admissible, the associated amendments should have been followed. Considering the situation, on arrival at the school, I would have explained to the student the reason for arrest after confirming the possession of the handgun and recording the security guard's statement. It was illegal to carry a gun to the school compound, and the arrest was lawful. While arresting the student, the suspect’s right could be explained to the student. I would emphasize on the right to remain silent and right for an attorney. Then transport the student to the police station without the use of force or mistreatment. Before six hours, the student is interrogated in the presence of the appointed lawyer if she asks for him. The procedure would make relevant evidence before the court.

An evaluation of the officer’s action, most of them were lawful. The search of the student was legally accepted because there was suspicion of the discovery of evidence. Furthermore, people entering public schools and parliament are exposed to searches. The search of the purse is directed by doubt which the officer had over the student. It was lawful for the officer to interrogate the student without informing him about the right to remain silent and have a lawyer. Weapon discovery is legitimate as it is physical evidence. My opinion is that the confessions made without a lawyer were not admissible as Amendment (IV) was violated. The discovery of a handgun as physical evidence is lawful and acceptable.

Scenario 2

Concerning the situation, several constitutional amendments are connected. Amendment (V), and Amendment (VI) speaks about confessions that are excluded from being used in the trial because they are untrustworthy. Statements made by a person due to treat or promise made in the presence of the person deprive the right of will and self-control (Shea, 2011). The confessions should be made voluntary but not with influence. The Sixth Amendment adds that no criminal suspect is to be a witness against his actions.

Involuntary confessions are not only produced by physical torture but also by coercive means such as long hours of questioning. The court determines if the evidence provided would provide fundamental fairness, whether it is true or false. Under Miranda v. Arizona section, the Amendment states that before police interrogations, the person should be reminded the right to remain silent (Shea, 2011). The statements made can be used as evidence against him and has the power of a lawyer either retained or appointed. The suspect in custody should be informed of the Miranda rights to decide to waive or stick to them.

Amendment (VI) addresses the right of the accused in criminal prosecutions. The accused has the right of a speedy trial. Prevents oppression of the person before trial and is necessary to lower the anxiety that accompanies public accusations. Long delay of a trial could forbid the accused from rightfully defending himself (Barta, 2014). The Constitution recognizes speedy trial as one of the fundamental liberties for the accused. The period for speedy trial is extended to provide space for the collection of sufficient evidence. Violation of speedy trial calls for dismissal of the charges against the accused.

An arrest has four elements. The first element is the intent to arrest, which is conveyed by the arresting officer’s actions or verbally. It is essential to inform the suspect of the coming arrest. The second element is the authority to arrest, which the arresting officer possesses to put the accused into custody. The administration is the source of power to stop the criminals. The third element is subjection to arrest. The subject can willfully surrender to the police or failure to yield policies involves the use of firearms and hands (Shea, 2011). The last item is the person being arrested, understanding the reasons for arrest. During the time of arrest, the officer informs the detained person the bases for detention. However, to the insane and the unconscious may not understand the purpose of the arrest.

Tyler, the accused in the situation, has the right to due process. The appropriate procedure for him could be first employing the four elements of arrest. The police could have shown Tyler the intent for the arrest and informed the reason for the arrest. During the arrest, he should be told the right to remain silent as the statements uttered could be used as evidence against him. After the arrest, he should be put in custody, and before interrogation, the Miranda rights should be read (Barta, 2014). He has the right to have a lawyer before being questioned for counsel. Within a reasonable period, he should be put in a speedy trial before a jury to comply with Amendment VI.

Violation of due process means harm to the personal rights of the accused. It offends the rule of law and has consequences. The due process aims to ensure fairness, justice, and liberty to the accused. When violated, the evidence collected against a suspect can be not relevant in the court, as was obtained illegally. The further consequence could be the dropping of the charges against a person (Shea, 2011). This occurs when there is a violation of the right of speedy trial without constructive reasons.

Scenario 3

The scenario is about the deprivation of inmate rights. The constitutional rights of inmates are violated by actions of the prison official of cruel and unlawful punishments. The excessive use of force by the officials raises questions if they are reasonable and necessary in the situation. The persons involved in the scenario are the inmates, the corrective officers and the Sergeant who decide on the actions of the corrective officials.

The relevant Amendment that relates to situations of cruel and unusual punishments is Amendment VIII. The Amendment was made to prevent the authority from exercising coercive cruelty while hiding in unusual punishments (Barta, 2014). The court has to evaluate discipline to determine if cruel and unusual punishment is applied. The sentence is examined concerning fundamental prohibitions of inhuman treatment. The dignity of being a man is kept within the limits of a civilized society. The conditions in prison should not involve the infliction of pain and should be appropriate to the severity of the crime resulting in the imprisonment of the inmate. Events that derive inmates the minimal necessities of life are unconstitutional.

Moreover, the harsh condition and extent of restriction of an inmate is part of the penalties that criminal offenders pay for their actions against society (Barta, 2014). The excessive force used varies depending on whether it was applied in good faith in efforts of restoring or maintaining good behavior or to cause harm. In right faith conditions, proof of significant injury is present while in use of force to harm, there no need to prove considerable injury.

The incidents do not pass the five-pronged Hudson test as the corrective official had the intention to maintain the proper discipline of the inmates. The use of force and the application of force was necessary for the correction of the inmate character. Also, the harsh conditions were part of the penalties for breaking state laws. The proof of injury was essential as it was with good faith. The sergeant should have responded by further educating the corrective official on the meaning and application of Amendment VIII.


Barta, J. (2014). Guarding the Rights of the Accused and Accuser: The Jury's Role in Awarding Criminal Restitution under the Sixth Amendment. Am. Crim. L. Rev., 51, 463.

Shea, T. M. (2011). The Sixth Amendment: The Rights of the Accused in Criminal Cases. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

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