Amendment Six – 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 defence.
Slowly but surely, we are hemming in our would-be satrap trying to get one over on us. “Well, I got probable cause, got the warrant, got the evidence, got the indictment… so you can just sit there for a while, see?”
No. No, we will not be sitting a while. We will be getting a trial, on charges made plain to us, with a jury of fellow citizens, and we aren’t going to get shuttled off someplace convenient to you and inconvenient to us, either. The process of picking a venue will be according to legal principles. During that trial, we will have the assistance of a proper lawyer and not a figurehead you approve of. We can face our accusers and rebut their testimony and evidence. We can also summon people on our behalf, and they can’t conveniently excuse themselves when it’s time for them to appear.
This process greatly hinders any shenanigans – the accused has the right to know what the State has against him, what they accuse him of, and can both cross-examine opposing testimony and offer his own. You will, of course, note yet again that the presumptions are in favor of the citizen, and the burdens of proof are levied on the government to show convincingly that a particular person is to be deprived of their innate rights – it can only be done for cause.
Does the state have any other tricks to play?
Tagged: Bill of Rights, law and order, US Constitution
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