Criminal Justice/ DIscuss the Bill of rights and their court cases and how they are applied today

Essay by Sillybeaner411High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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America is widely recognized for the freedoms and equalities it gives its people. These equalities also extend to criminals and convicted felons. Under the Bill of Rights all Americans are entitled to certain rights and liberties, with this concept in mind the Supreme Court has interpreted many of these rights and liberties to protect the human rights of suspected criminals. During the 1950's and 1960's, one of the most pressing questions was; "whether suspects had constitutional rights ...[and] and when those rights could be exercised".

The fourth amendment to the Bill of Rights states that people have the right to secure their homes, papers, themselves, and effects against unjustified searches. The amendment also required that a warrant be issued under probable cause, to search or arrest someone. In 1949 the court case of Wolf v. Colorado appeared in regards to this issue, the question that appeared was whether the states were allowed to present illegally seized evidence in court.

The Court held that the Fourteenth amendment did not subject criminal justice in the states to specific limitations and that illegally obtained evidence did not have to be excluded from trials in all cases. This case was vital in that it required "warrants " to any searches or seizures.

The Fifth Amendment ruled against 'double jeopardy', which meant that being tried for the same criminal offense was prohibited. In 1969 the court case of Benton v. Maryland, in which the petitioner was tried for burglary and larceny, the petitioner was found guilty of burglary and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Because the petitioner's case had been selected under invalid constitutional provision, the case was remanded to the trial court. The fist time this case had been brought to court the petitioner had been found guilty of burglary and not...