The Fifth Amendment And The Rights During Arrest, Trial, And Sentencing Essay

1980 WordsOct 21, 20168 Pages
No matter what the crime is, the Constitution is supposed to help protect the accused’s rights during arrest, trial, and sentencing. The Sixth Amendment clearly states that “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… and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense”. If the accused is found to be guilty, the Eighth Amendment is there to protect us from the possibility of cruel and unusual punishment. This is something as an American we all expect and we all assume is what happens, but what if you’re a minority, or have a mental impairment and you’re facing the death penalty, can you expect the same rights? Recent studies have shown that while the use of the death penalty have gone down over the years since it was reinstated in 1976, there is still a staggering number of statics showing inequality in the application of its use. A law professor from the University of Iowa, David C. Baldus and two colleagues published a study not long after the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 (Dow, 2011). In this study it looked at over 2,000 homicide cases just within Georgia alone beginning in 1972, what they found was startling (Dow, 2011). Baldus found that black defendants were 1.7 times more likely to be given the death penalty than white defendants and those who murdered white victims were actually 4.3 times more apt to be

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