Constitutional Amendments And The Criminal Justice Process

The U.S. Constitution affords citizens various rights and freedoms. These include freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, and the right to equal justice. As upholders of the Constitution, police officers swear an oath to uphold people’s Constitutional rights as they perform their duties to prevent, reduce, and address criminal activities.

Of the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, four amendments in particular pertain to the criminal justice process:

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  • The Fourth Amendment prevents unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • The Fifth Amendment affords people various rights in criminal and civil proceedings. Examples include the right to a grand jury and due process. It also allows people to protect themselves from self-incrimination, and it prohibits double jeopardy
  • The Sixth Amendment guarantees various rights to criminal defendants, such as the right to a speedy trial, a lawyer, and an impartial jury. It also guarantees defendants the right to know who their accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence against them.
  • The Eighth Amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments.

In this assignment, you will be asked to:

  • Explain the meaning and importance of these four amendments.
  • Illustrate with an example how the amendment applies to a player and a step in the criminal justice process.
  • Illustrate with an example, from case law or contemporary articles, of how the amendment applies to the particular player and step in the criminal justice process.

Instructions

Use the Constitutional Amendments and Criminal Justice Process Template [DOCX] to:

  1. Provide the text of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments, along with your interpretation of them and their importance.
    • Note: The Fourth Amendment is completed for you as an example to guide your work on the remaining three amendments. Likewise, be sure to refer to the work you did in this week’s discussion on the Fifth and Sixth Amendments as you complete this portion of your assignment.
  2. Illustrate with an example how the amendment applies to a player and a step in the criminal justice process (for example, Fourth Amendment—law enforcement—arrest).
  3. Refer to 3Ps of Criminal Justice document (left-hand menu) as you work on this portion of your assignment.
  4. Illustrate with an example, from case law or contemporary articles, how the amendment applies to the particular player and step in the criminal justice process.
  5. Use three sources to support your writing.
  6. Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate.
    • Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment.
    • For help with research, writing, and citation, access the library or review library guides.
    • Consult the Constitutional Amendments Resources List [PDF] for links to help you get started on your research.
    • You may use your textbook as one of your resources.

Note: Be sure to use the Constitutional Amendments and Criminal Justice Process Template to complete your assignment.

Formatting

  • The preferred method is for your Constitutional Amendments and Criminal Justice Process Template to be typed, single-spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.
  • Include a cover page containing the assignment title, your name, your professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required page length.
  • Include a source list page. Citations and references The source list page is not included in the required page length.

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