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Rights of the Accused (From Criminal Justice System in America, 1982, Part 2 - See NCJ-93023)

NCJ Number
J F Henning
Date Published
0 pages
This filmstrip addresses the view held by many Americans that criminals are escaping punishment because our legal system places undue emphasis on the rights of the accused.
It explains the rationale behind the civil liberties guaranteed to all Americans by the Bill of Rights and examines the legal technicalities which appear to shield criminals from the law. Illustrating these concepts is a case example involving an accused mugger, who is followed from arrest to trial. Emphasis is placed on the rights guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution. The warrantless search used in the case provides the focus for a discussion of the Fourth Amendment protections against improper search and seizure by the government. The Fifth Amendment guarantees of due process of law and protection against self-incrimination, the Sixth Amendment provisions regarding the right to a speedy and public trial and other matters, and the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment are discussed in detail. Emphasis is placed on the principle that guilt or innocence is not a consideration in the issue of the need to guarantee the rights of accused persons. For related filmstrips, see NCJ 93024 and 93026.