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The bill of right in American constitution is an elaborate clause, focusing on the rights of individuals as citizens of the republic. The 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th clauses focus on individual privacy, individual freedom and protection from both the state and the fellow citizens.
The fourth clause focuses on the right of individuals to be safe and secure in their capacity as individuals, premises, documents and personal effects against unlawful and unjustifiable searches and confiscation. Such rights shall not be violated and no warrant to be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by a declaration describing areas to be searched, persons to be searched and properties to seizure.
The fifth clause postulate that no person shall be answerable for grand crimes, unless on a present grand jury, except in cases of land, army and militia groups, participating in war or threat to public. The person serving the offence shall not be put in life threatening situations or actual pain, shall not be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness to others or himself. Shall not be denied life, freedom or property without following the due process of the law. (Schwartz, 1971) No private property is to be taken for public use without appropriate restitution. Sixth clause postulates that in all the criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to faster trial by neutral jury, in any place where the crime shall have been committed. Be it in the state or in the district level upon being served and ascertained by the law. The accused have the right to be informed about the nature and cause of the accusation, to be challenged by the witness against him and to have the right to obtaining the witnesses in his favor, and to be assisted by the counsel for his defense. The fourteenth clause guarantees the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens, due procedure and equal protection by the law. The above four amendments in American constitution narrow down on matters of law and citizenry, protection of the rights of individuals in the hands of law enforcement agencies and law dispensing institutions. (Gill, 2000)
Search and seizure as highlighted in the fourth clause must be applicableto given facts. There should be search and seizure taking place in a typical criminal case, and to use the properties seized in judicial process. The search should be within the realm and understanding of the amendment, ensuring the complainant’s rights are not infringed upon constitutionally. The two will always turn for consideration in the interest of the accused and if they were abused. The ultimate end of men living in the society is to protect and secure their properties. The right is sacred and unchallengeable where it has not been taken away by public law, for the benefit of the whole society. No person is allowed to enter into another person’s property without the license, if it happens, it is a trespass. Protection of property rights as the base of the fourth clause is accepted by the Supreme Court. (Moss, 1931) The fourth clause protects against unlawful arrests and unjustifiable searches. The common law articulates that it is right to arrest one who had committed a breach of peace without a warrant. In order to execute an arrest or search in the home, police officers must have a warrant or legitimate cause; in any case the warrant is not produced. Justification must be produced to ascertain all the seizures of individuals and properties.
The criminal liability by the jury as postulated by the fifth clause is entrenched in the law. The jury purpose is to constitute fair criminal procedures against the persons believed to have committed a crime. A part from serving to return criminal liabilities, the juries serve several of other functions including investigative functions, in which the grand jury may summon witnesses, compel testimony and production of evidence. The jury also issue reports which may indicate behavior not worth criminally liable of public officers. They also issue legislative responses to impose supervisory restrictions on them. The jury in all the courts serves as a bridge and arbiter between the suspects and the judge. The function of the grand jury is to offer impartial rule and dispensation of justice to the suspects due to the possibility of biasness by one judge.
The criminal prosecution in the sixth clause deals with citizens and others who are within the United States or who are taken to the US for trials for alleged wrongs committed elsewherre. It is not applicable to citizens living temporarily in the US or visiting abroad. On the offense against the United States, the common law does not exist for such offences but what the congress has forbidden. The US citizens arrested elsewhere in the world are liable for legal prosecutions and proceedings in the US. The crimes committed against the states fall in the category designed by Congress as acts of crime as postulated in the sixth amendment. (Ashley and Lucy, 1978)
The fourteenth clause guarantees the rights of citizens, freedom, protection, legitimate processes and equal protection by the law. Citizens of America are white persons born in the United States as descendants of people who at the time of the adoption of the constitution were recognized as citizens. The individuals who were born outside the United States but migrated and naturalized in the land. Such individuals enjoy full privileges and rights of citizens of the United States. Citizens of the United States have the rights of privileges and immunities, protected by the constitution against being tried outside American territory. They also have the right to due process of the law, being tried within the precipice of the constitution enjoying all the rights as citizens irrespective of the nature of the charges.
In conclusion, constitution sheds light on the behaviors and activities of the law, the due process in any legal proceeding and dispensation of justice. The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th clauses clearly establishes the confines upon which law enforcement agencies should act, not violating the right of individuals and following the due process of the law. The courts in the United States have helped in the interpretation of the constitution to protect the rights of individuals in police custody and those who are being pursued for committing criminal acts.
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