CH 14 Citizenship and Equal Justice

CH 14 Citizenship and
Equal Justice
Rights of the Accused
A crime is an act against a law of the
The challenge for Americans is to balance
the rights of the people versus that of the
accused. (The greater good)
The BOR and the 14th Amendment were
designed to protect the rights of both.
The 4th Amendment
The police must state under oath that they
have probable cause in order to get a
search warrant.
The search warrant is then very specific
about place and things.
They may search a private home without a
warrant only in life threatening
No warrant is needed if the police see
someone breaking the law. (they have
the right to arrest and seize for drugs in a
minor traffic stop)
Drug tests are considered a search but do not
require a warrant if it is to protect public safety
Illegally obtained evidence may not be used in
court. (This is now being challenged and even
relaxed if the officers can prove they acted in
good faith)
The 4th amendment is also relaxed in high
All that is needed is reasonable grounds and a
student may be searched at any time.
The rules differ if the search is conducted by a
police officer vs. a school official.
The 6th Amendment
Guarantees a defendant the right to
counsel or an attorney. This mainly
applies to federal courts. People can be
tried in state courts without a lawyer.
The 5th Amendment
(Self Incrimination)
The government bears the burden of proof.
Defendants are not obliged to help the govt.
prove they committed a crime or testify at their
own trial.
It protects against forcibly attained confessions
or information.
This amendment was later enforced more
strongly when the Supreme Court ruled in
Miranda v. Arizona and established the Miranda
rights for questioning subjects.
In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona for
stealing $8 from bank worker and charged with armed robbery. He
already had a record for armed robbery, and a juvenile record
including attempted rape, assault, and burglary. While in police
custody he signed a written confession to the robbery, and to
kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman 11 days before the
robbery. After the conviction, his lawyers appealed, on the grounds
that Miranda did not know he was protected from self-incrimination.
The case, Miranda v. Arizona, made it all the way to the Supreme
Court, where the conviction was overthrown. In a landmark ruling
issued in 1966, the court established that the accused have the right
to remain silent and that prosecutors may not use statements made
by defendants while in police custody unless the police have advised
them of their rights, commonly called the Miranda Rights. The
case was later re-tried, Miranda was convicted on the basis of other
evidence, and served 11 years. He was paroled in 1972, and died in
1976 at the age of 34, after being stabbed in a bar fight. A suspect
was arrested but chose to excercise his right to remain silent, and
was released.
5th Amendment Continued
(Double Jeopardy)
Also deals with double jeopardy.
It does not protect against someone being
prosecuted criminally and then being tried civilly.
A criminal act can be tried in both state and
federal courts.
A single act can involve multiple crimes and a
suspect can be tried for each component of the
8th Amendment
Forbids cruel and unusual punishment
The main controversy is whether or not
the death penalty is cruel or unusual.
What do you think?
1927 - 1965
Equal Protection of the Law
“All men are created equal” as stated in
the DOI really means that all are entitled
to equal rights and treatment before the
This is shown in the 14th amendment
which grants equal protection under the
law and really extends the 5th amendment
due process clause. The point is to keep
the government from making distinctions
among people based on classification.
14th Amendment
Passed after the Civil War and is intended
to grant rights to former slaves.
However many states passed Jim crow
laws which allowed legal segregation.
Jim Crow laws were upheld by the
Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson
which put into place the principle of
“separate but equal”
Brown vs Bd of Education
Plessy vs. Ferguson stood until the 1950’s
when it was overturned by Brown v. Bd of
Education. This led to the Civil Rights
Movement and the cooperation of many
blacks and whites in an effort to bring
about “equal” justice for all.