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Amendments

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The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and arrests by federal law enforcement authorities without a legal warrant. This amendment limits the power of the police to arrest and search people and their properties. However, this amendment does allow searches and arrests that are considered to be reasonable (Kurland & Lerner, 2000). This latter part however, allows police to conduct a search on people or their property without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that an individual is engaging in criminal activities.

5th Amendment

            According to Kurland and Lerner (2000), the 5th Amendment defends people from being held for committing a serious crime (with the exception of a military setting), without being properly indicted by a Grand Jury. This amendment states that defendants may not be tried twice for a similar crime and they are not supposed to be forced to testify against themselves. The amendment also protects people from unjust compensation when their properties have been taken for public use.

6th Amendment

            The Sixth US Constitution Amendment offers criminal defendants with the following liberties: right to a Speedy Trial; right to a public trial; the right to a fair jury; right to be told of pending charges; right to meet face to face and interrogate witnesses against them; right to force favorable witnesses to give evidence at a trial as well as the right to legal advice (Kurland & Lerner, 2000).

14th Amendment

            The 14th amendment states that each and every person that is born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen of the US, and no state is allowed to interfere with the privileges and immunities of such citizens. In addition, there is no state that is allowed to deprive them of their lives, liberties or property with no due process of law (Books, LLC & Books Group, 2010).

Do you agree that for police to take action, their response must be just, and that they must recognize the rights of individuals while at the same time holding them accountable for their actions as defined by law? Support your position.

            Yes, I absolutely agree with the law that mandates the police authorities to hold citizens accountable for the crimes they commit because without arresting criminals, the levels of crimes would rise, putting the lives and property of people in the hands of criminals; even risking national security. While making arrests, the police should be just enough to follow the law and respect the rights of people as stated in the Constitution (Vile, 2003). For instance, the law does not allow unreasonable searches of people and property without a valid warrant unless the police have a good reason to believe that the person is engaging in crime.

Have the courts provided adequate protection to citizens against officers who have exceeded their authority? Explain.

            No. Because, most of the time when a police office is charged with a crime such as using excess authority, the courts orders investigation to be done on their case, and it is their fellow officers who investigate them. Police officers cannot investigate themselves. Most of the time they are found innocent and freed, while citizens continue to be at their mercy.

In which areas of search and seizure do feel that the courts have not gone far enough? Support your position.

            The 2nd part of the 4th amendment does allow the police to conduct searches and arrests that are considered to be reasonable. This clause is general and subject to abuse by the police. The courts should clearly define what “reasonable” is in the above phrase means.

In which areas do you feel that the courts have gone too far? Support your position.

            Despite the 6th Amendment assuring criminal defendants of their rights to a speedy trial, some courts still remand criminals for so long without being tried. 

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