The Sixth Amendment In U.S. Trials

Introduction

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants:

  • The right to a public trial without unnecessary delay.
  • The right to an attorney, the right to an impartial jury.
  • The right to know one’s accusers.
  • The nature of the charges or evidence against them.

Preparation

Analyze the following U.S. Supreme Court cases:

Instructions

Write a 4–6 page paper in which you:

  • Explain the fundamental protections available to a defendant under the Sixth Amendment related to the concepts of a speedy trial, an impartial jury, the role of the jury, and the right to face one’s accusers.

 

  • Analyze the reasoning behind the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Ballew v. Georgia and Burch v. Louisiana that a conviction by a unanimous five-person jury in a trial for a non-petty offense deprives an accused of the right to trial by jury.

 

  • Support your writing with at least three credible, relevant, and appropriate academic sources.
  • Write in an articulate and well-organized manner that is grammatically correct and free of spelling, typographical, formatting, and/or punctuation errors.

Then prepare a one-page case brief of Ballew v. Georgia using the case brief template.

Finally, prepare a one-page case brief of  Burch v. Louisiana using the case template

Answer:

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides several fundamental protections to criminal defendants. These protections include the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to an attorney, the right to an impartial jury, the right to know one’s accusers, and the right to be informed of the nature of the charges and evidence against them.

Ballew v. Georgia (1978) was a case in which the defendant was convicted by a five-person jury in a trial for a non-petty offense. The U.S. Supreme Court held that a conviction by a five-person jury in a trial for a non-petty offense violated the defendant’s right to a trial by jury as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. The Court reasoned that the Sixth Amendment required a minimum of six persons to make a lawful jury, and that the requirement of unanimity in a criminal case was also a fundamental aspect of the right to a trial by jury.

Burch v. Louisiana (1979) was another case in which the defendant was convicted by a five-person jury in a trial for a non-petty offense. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the defendant was deprived of his right to a trial by an impartial jury because the jury was not of sufficient size to provide a representative cross-section of the community. The Court stated that the right to an impartial jury requires not only that the jury be free from bias, but also that the jury be drawn from a fair cross-section of the community.

To support your writing, you may use academic sources such as law review articles, legal treatises, and court opinions. When writing the case brief of Ballew v. Georgia and Burch v. Louisiana, be sure to include key information such as the names of the parties, the procedural history, the legal issues, the holdings and reasoning of the Court, and any concurring or dissenting opinions.

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