One of the main principles in the American justice system is that an accused person will remain innocent of the charges they are being accused of until proven guilty in a court of law. This guilty verdict will be reached upon by a judge and/or jury. Therefore, to ensure that every citizen gets to benefit from this principle, there are fundamental rights they are entitled to under the constitution.
In this article, we take a look at 3 fundamental rights every American is entitled to.
1 The 8th Amendment Rights
Broadly, the 8th Amendment Rights are meant to ensure that accused persons are well protected against cruel, excessive or unusual punishment. The well-known Miranda rights which require any law enforcement officer taking an American citizen into custody, to first make them fully aware of all their legal entitlements, is part of the 8thAmendment Rights.
2 The 5th Amendment Rights
Broadly, the 5th Amendment Rights are meant to ensure that accused persons are guaranteed of fair due process. Part of this included protection against self-incrimination as they are free to choose not to answer questions or make statements which will disadvantage them as they go through various stages of the justice system from their arrest to their prosecution.
3 The 6th Amendment Rights
Broadly, the 6th Amendment Rights are meant to ensure that accused persons enjoy a fair process of adjudication. Part of this include having proper knowledge of the charges against them and why they are facing such charges, access to legal representation, a right to be tried in front of a jury and a right to confront their accusers as well as have witnesses speak for them. It also includes a right to undergo the legal due process in a timely manner.
It’s therefore the duty of every American citizen to be aware of these 3 rights that will be very important regardless of the legal challenge they are facing because they are the difference between getting justice and suffering an injustice.