Criminals have legal rights during trial procedures. Without these rights there would be so much confusion and controversy in the court system today. There are four of them that I will give a brief summarization of and explain to you the consequences that could possibly happen if these legal rights were no longer upheld in the court system today. They are; the right to confront witnesses, the right to an impartial jury, the right to counsel at trial, and last but not least the right to be competent trial.
The right to confront witnesses is legal right. The sixth amendment gives the defendant the right to be confronted by the witnesses against them (Larry J. Siegel, 2012, 2010). This basically gives the right for the defendant to have the witness me to court and give them the ability to look the witness right in the eye. This also gives the defendant’s lawyer the right to question the witness. If this right wasn’t upheld then there would probably be a lot of false statements or accusations in the trial.
It would also be hard to confirm whether or not the witness it telling the truth, because anyone can pick up a piece of paper and write down what they want to, but when it comes to looking that person right in the eye it makes a whole lot of difference, because it gives the defense a chance to look at the body language of the witness and also, when it comes to the matching up of the statements, the witness could write down something, but then when it comes to testifying if they are lying then what they wrote down and what they are actually saying could be totally different and if this right was no longer upheld there could be innocent people going to jail or a lot of criminals getting away with the crime that they have committed.
Also if the legal right wasn’t upheld how could the jury or the judge go off of a written statement that could have be written by anyone, if this right wasn’t upheld, then there would be so many written statements on both sides, because they wouldn’t have to testify during trial, it would be a whole lot easier for people to get off, because it would basically be he say, she say information, but the fact of having to actually go to court and testify under oath, puts you in a whole entire ball field so it helps in a lot of ways, because not only does it help the d defense but it helps the prosecutors also.
The right to an impartial jury basically means that, the jurors who they select for the trial know absolutely no one who is on the trial, none of the attorneys, the judge, the defendant or the plaintiff. They also can’t know anything about the trial. No one on the jury can be biased. If this legal right wasn’t upheld then the ruling of the case, wouldn’t be fair and there would be a lot of people taking different sides just because of the person that they know.
It wouldn’t be fair to the defendant or the plaintiff, because if the jury knew something about the case or knew of the person who committed the crime or of the person who the crime was committed upon then the jury would have mixed feelings and would probably never reach a decision which could cause a hung jury, which would probably let a criminal walk free. Also if anyone in the jury knew the judge, the prosecutor or the defense lawyer and they worked one of their cases or convicted them of a crime previously then they would probably just choose a side out of spite. Having an impartial jury is not only good for the defendant, but also for the prosecutor and plaintiff also, because if there was someone on the jury that had something against the plaintiff or prosecutor then they would probably just choose in favor of the defense just because of the grudge that they had against that party.
The right to counsel means that the defendant has the right to have the assistance to counsel in the defendants defense and if they can’t afford one then one would be appointed to them by the court. If this right wasn’t upheld then there would be a lot of cases that would probably be ruled in favor of the plaintiff just because of the lack of knowledge of the defendant. Also there would probably be a lot of criminals behind bars, because then they wouldn’t have a lawyer to speak on there be half and try to work out a lighter sentence on their behalf. There probably would not be as many probation officers, because with the defendant’s being locked up then the options of them having probation or community service would be cut out of the picture.
With a lawyer they help out the defendant’s a lot in trials, because the lawyer can work with the prosecutor and come up with many other options other than jail time. They can also help the defendant and show them ways and other things to do before trial to help them get a lesser or lighter sentence. Without the criminals having the right to counsel then there would be a lot of wrongful accusations on the defendant’s side also it would be easier for the jury to side with the prosecutor because with the lack of knowledge the defendant probably wouldn’t be able to get the information that they need for trial together.
The right to be competent at trial means that in order to stand trial a criminal defendant must be in there right state of mind and understand the nature and extent of the legal proceedings. Also if the defendant is considered mentally unstable then the trial must be postponed until treatment renders him capable of participating in his own defense (Larry J. Siegel, 2012, 2010).
If this right was no longer upheld then every trial would be unfair and a lot of mentally unstable people would be in jail instead of getting proper treatment in the right facility. Also if it wasn’t upheld then the defendant wouldn’t be able to render the treatment that he/she needs to be able to stand trial. Also the criminal would probably try to act as his own counsel which, because they aren’t in there right state of mind and say or do things that he/she wouldn’t understand, because they aren’t in there right state of mind and would they would get a harsher sentence for the crime.
There are so many things that could go wrong if these legal rights weren’t in place. There are many cases that has happened and that’s why we have these legal rights to day. In my opinion I feel that these rights are in effect for good reasons, because regardless of the person everyone should have rights. Without these legal rights there would be so much corruption and wrong doing in the courts today.
Courtney from Study Moose
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