Criminal Procedure Policy Paper

Criminal Procedure Policy Paper


Criminal Procedure Policy Paper

Our primary objective for the Criminal Justice in the United States is to maintain order, protect all citizens, enforce laws, and lastly punish all that do not abide by the laws that have been put in place to be followed. The United States has laws and rights that are were made to protect the citizens. The rights came about through the bill of rights which was established in December of 1791. With the bill of rights it protects citizens, by protecting them from strong government power and granting them individual rights. There are a few rights that the citizens don’t realize the courts and police take advantage of. The 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments are abused by the system. According Samaha “The supremacy clause and judicial review together establish that criminal procedure has to answer to the U.S. Constitution, and the courts determine which procedures are in line with the constitution (Samaha, 2012).” Throughout this paper I will further explain how the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments are key elements in the criminal justice system.

Why was the fourth amendment created one might ask? It was created to ensure that the government does not use illegal methods to get evidence from defendants. The use of searches and seizures was being used before the fourth amendment was created.The fourth amendment is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized because the fourth amendment guarantees the right to be free from unreasonable searches, seizures, and the right for probable cause to validate the reason for search and seizures. Law enforcement can encounter a law suit if the proper procedure of the 4th amendment is not followed. There are three kinds of police-individual contacts which are voluntary encounters, stops, and arrests. Voluntary encounters consist of willing contact with law enforcement without using physical force or methods such as intimidation. With this type of police-individual contact the fourth amendment does not apply. Stops and arrests are another kind of police-individual contact but with these kinds the fourth amendment does apply. This could happen in such cases where damage is done during the illegal search or seizure. It is imperative when executing a warrant to stick only to designated areas specified in the search warrant. The fourth amendment is supposed to make sure the government has enough power to make us safe and secure by looking for, getting, and using the evidence it needs to control crime, protect officers, seize suspects, and meet special needs beyond criminal law enforcement (Samaha, 2012). This amendment key elements provides law enforcement personnel the ability to properly obtain evidence

The fifth amendment , no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation (GPO, April). In order to fully be able to allow an individual due process the definition should be defined. Due process can be defined as a broad and vague guarantee of fair procedures in deciding cases; the fifth and fourteenth amendment provisions prohibiting the federal government and the states, respectively, from depriving citizens of life, liberty, or property without due process law (Samaha, 2012).This amendment bands the act of self-incrimination and the right to due process. By knowing the definition of due process it outlines the fair procedures that due process guarantees. In the case of Hurtado V. California, it was the beginning of a host of cases that rejected the thought of due process not being utilized properly suggesting that modifications be done in the Bill of Rights to let criminal proceedings be stated. In order for a defendant to claim that their fifth amendment has been violated they must prove that these three elements: compulsion, incrimination, and testimony. You cannot be compelled to be a witness against yourself, meaning that defendants have the choice to testify whether it is by writing a detailed statement about the events of the crime that you are going on trial for or forced to speak on the crime that you are going on trial for. An altercation occurred in the Sacramento tavern where Hurtado made physical contact with Esturado. A couple days passed Hurtado was gunned down by Esturado in the court house. The counsel tried to claim that Hurtado as was not granted a fair trial for this reason a grand jury was formed to impose such charges. In all federal courts, and the majority of state courts a grand jury

The sixth amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense (Amendment VI, Dece).The right to a speedy trial may bederived from a provision of Magna Carta and it was a right so interpretedby Coke. Since this amendment guarantees a speedy trial its rights are preserved by our Constitution. The right of a speedy trial can sometimes be delayed due to different circumstances. This amendment secures rights to a defendant but it does not omit the rights of public justice.A person’s right to a speedy trial arises only after the government has arrested, indicted, or otherwise formally accused the person of a crime. Before the point of formal accusation, the government is under no Sixth Amendment obligation to discover, investigate, accuse, or prosecute a particular defendant within a certain amount of time. The Speedy Trial Clause is not implicated in post-trial criminal proceedings such as Probation and Parole hearings. Nor may a person raise a speedy-trial claim after the government has dropped criminal charges, even if the government refiles those charges at a much later date. However, the government must comply with the fairness requirements of the Due Process Clause during each juncture of a criminal proceeding (The free Legal Dictionary, 2014).

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” By directly mentioning the role of the states, the 14th Amendment greatly expanded the protection of civil rights to all Americans and is cited in more litigation than any other amendment.The United States Supreme interpreted the 14th Amendment for the first time in 1873, the justices avoided ruling on the meaning of the due process clause (Constitutional Rights Foundation Bill of Rights in Action, May ).

In conclusion the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments must be fully understood in order to be successful when convicting defendants. Failure to implement these amendments when pursuing the prosecution of a defendant can lead to various things to begin with evidence being ruled inadmissible in court and an abundance of other key factors. The law of criminal procedure consists of the rules that government has to follow to detect and investigate crimes, apprehend suspects, prosecute and convict defendants, and punish criminals (Samaha, 2012). Most criminal procedure provisions if not all are covered by the fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments to the constitution, with the Bill of rights being considered to be the first ten amendments. All courts on different levels including federal and state must abide by these amendments to


Amendment VI. (December 2014). Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from

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GPO.(Apil 2015).Amendment 5-Rights of Persons. Retrieved from…/GPO-CON

Samaha, J. (2012). Criminal Procedure (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.

The free Legal Dictionary. (2014 February).Sixth Amendment. Retrieved from http://://”>Sixth Amendment

Web Guides. (2015, November).Primary Documents in American History. Retrieved from