(Episode 23) Preciously Ascertained: The Sixth Amendment, Part 1 of 2
"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."
If you're a long-time listener, then you already know what big fans we are of words and how much they matter. The words used in the Sixth Amendment are just as important, and it can be beneficial to take it (slightly more than) one word at a time. That's because some of the rights laid out in the Sixth Amendment are compound. For example, you have the right to a trial that is both speedy and public. You also have the right to a jury, and that jury is meant to be impartial.
In this episode, we discuss 86% of the Amendment (we'll talk about the right to counsel in part 2). There's some serious, long history behind most of these rights (back to the Magna Carta we go!), but we do our best to apply it to the modern day (think red light/speeding cameras).
Join us as we ask ourselves:
1. How fast is a "speedy trial"? (Short answer: not very.)
2. Why the public-ity? (Short answer: secrets secrets are no fun.)
3. Should I really care that much about jury duty? (Short answer: YES. Duh.)
4. What's an arraignment? (Short answer: notice.)
5. How do I deal with he said/she said? (Short answer: get confrontational.)
Some additional sources we used:
-For Madison's version (search "In all criminal prosecutions" to jump to that section);
-Some statistics on crime, pleading guilty, and how much actually makes it all the way to trial.
*Wouldn't it have been cool if there were exactly six?
**Not preciously, much as Amanda might wish it.