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Our Judicial System and Amendment VI to the Constitution

Updated on April 5, 2013

Our judicial system is one of the best if not the best in the world. As part of our Constitution under Article III states the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court as identified in section I. As part of our judicial system Amendment 6 establishes some guidelines or rules by which our judicial system operates or does it. The wording of Amendment 6 in its entirety is noted below:

“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. Defendants in criminal cases are entitled to public trials that follow relatively soon after initiation of the charges. Witnesses must be brought to the trial to testify before the defendant, judge, and jury. Defendants are also entitled to compel witnesses on their behalf to appear and testify.”

In examining the language of the 6th amendment the requirements for a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district where the crime was committed. Part of this requirement involves the need for a fair trial. Some court cases have been moved from locations to allow for a fair trial resulting from publicity surrounding facts in specific cases. In this respect location with respect to a crime a trial may be moved but often remain in the same state. Changes of this nature comply with the intent of the law under the Constitution.

Discussing our judicial system further the requirement for a speedy and public trial depends on the definition of speedy. It is well understood that our judicial system is flooded with court cases some of which require a trial by jury and others where a trial by jury is an option. The question of whether a trial is considered speedy depends on if it is associated with when a case is filed or when it begins. Most trials once they being are for the most part speedy as from reports in the news many rarely take a long time. High publicity trials are an exception to the rule of a speedy trial as there are many witnesses from both sides which take time to cross-examine each to determine the facts. The length is necessary so juries have the information they need to make the right decision.

The content of our Constitution is something we as individuals have learned through our education system or at least it used to be. It is unclear at this point whether the Constitution or our system of government is taught or taught in the right perspective today. Teachers and there are many great ones in our education system sometimes present facts and perspectives based on what they feel various parts of our Constitution represent. It is a human trait which we all must battle leaving open the possibility of other opinions. Our education system is great and has some problems but it is still, in my opinion, the best system in the world. This statement is supported by the fact that many of our students in higher education institutions are from foreign countries.

Amendment VI to the Constitution is an integral part of our judicial system and the rights we have as individuals. The thousands of court cases we have in our judicial system throughout our country affect the efficiency of the system. I am for any individual, group or organization to seek restitution when they have been harmed. While there are many court cases there are those we have seen reported in the news that make us ask the question how did this case make it to court. The principle of this amendment is not the problem but how it is implemented within our court system. Both sides of cases brought before a judge and sometimes a jury has an impact on cases filed or prosecuted. Lawyers on bought sides need to determine whether a case warrants the cost of court time to resolve issues involved. It is true this may be considered to be an opinion by either side but establishing some ground rules regarding what cases to file or prosecute need to be established. Some court cases involve blame on both sides as to the facts. We as individuals often have some responsibility associated with the reason a court case is decided to be filed.

One last thing which may help resolve some of the issues with the flood of cases when an individual sues someone that they will be responsible for court costs and lawyer fees if they lose.

Our current tort system needs to be revamped to instill reasonable levels of damages. While this may not sit well with some individuals or organizations common sense needs to be instilled in our judicial system. Granted this may be a cultural change in the way our court system has been operating for years but changes need to be made. Some states have made some changes in the rules regarding damages which can be awarded and Congress should look at these kinds of changes associated with our judicial system from a national standpoint. It is a well known fact that the amount of financial restitution needs to be compared to the seriousness of the crime or violation.


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