This essay discusses comprehensively the constitutional protections in criminal investigations. To a greater extent, it addresses constitutional amendments and case laws that relate to interrogations, confessions, or identifications. The Fifth Amendment of the constitution of the United States states that no particular individual shall be held liable to answer any capital crime or any crime unless the person is vindicated by a Jury. This is with an exception to cases emanating from either land or naval forces of the state.
The amendment also stipulates that no person shall be liable for jail on the basis of an offense committed twice. The individual will not be forced to be his or her own witness against himself in any criminal case. Thus, the individuals shouldn't be deprived of their rights to live, to preserve liberation, to own property not unless approved by a court of law, and that no person can lose his private property to be used for public benefit without being compensated (Treanor, 1995).
Components of the 5th Amendment
The Fifth Amendment puts into account four basic components in association with the confession law. The first component is that an individual has the right not to be indicted by the impartial court unless the person has undergone a trial for a federal criminal crime committed. In the United States, a grand jury comprises of citizens of a federal state summoned by a criminal court to give their viable considerations and remarks concerning accusations and complaints of persons who are suspected of indulging in criminal injustices.
Those grand juries are not supposed to give their opinions on the accused on his or her guilt or innocence. They are rather supposed to determine whether the accusation really exists to put a firm belief that the accused really committed a certain crime.
Their responsibility is just to give back an indictment, which is a formalized charge against the accused, in case they find out the probability of a cause of crime. Qualified residents among the grand jury make up the team of the potential jury. The grand jury traces its origin during the reign of Henry II of England.
The grand jury serves a very important purpose in the states. It gives protection to innocent persons who are faced with charges as a result of politics, religion, or any personal cases. The grand jury proceedings are conducted in a secret manner. This aims at avoiding scrutiny and influences from the public which may affect the final arrived decisions of the jury. The members of the grand jury are expected to be impartial in their decisions. The constitution gives no rights for the accused individuals to present evidence on their behalf (LaFave et al., 2000).
The second crucial component of the Fifth Amendment provides an individual the right to be protected from multiple prosecutions for one criminal case. Thus, a defendant is protected by the amendment from being prosecuted. This only occurs for the accused who have already been convicted. This double jeopardy clause is only applicable to any legal proceedings arrived at by the state or federal courts. Legal proceedings arrived by private individuals do not give protection for an individual not to be replenished from multiple prosecutions in case the person is inducted for many crimes.
The U.S legal system comprises of the criminal and civil divisions. The criminal division act of the United States punishes individuals who have committed wrong actions against the order of the public. The Civil Actions division provides money compensations to victims who get damages and injuries suffered at the hands of another. The Amendment makes it possible for an individual accused of a murder case to be required to pay the family of the victim compensation for the damages caused. This happens without violation of the double jeopardy clause (LaFave et al., 2000).
The third component of the Fifth Amendment is the eminent domain clause. The clause gives a provision to an individual to receive compensation in case the government takes their private property for public use. In such a case the individual receives compensation, which has an equal market value of the property. With such a considerable provision, a balance between the needs of the public and the property rights of the owner are well catered for.
The Due Process Clause gives a provision for both procedural and substantive aspects of legal proceedings. The procedural aspect gives a concern on the conduct of the legal proceedings. It requires that notification of time, place, and subject matter of a legal proceeding be provided to all persons materially affected. This helps give them an adequate chance to prepare fully for the legal proceeding.
The procedural aspect gives a requirement that the impartial judge presiding the legal proceeding should conduct it in a fair and justice manner with an allowance to the interested parties to fully give a detailed presentation of their complaints, demands, and defenses.
Constitutional Rights Associated with the Confession Law
The U.S Bill of Rights gives rights associated with confession, thus, a privilege against compulsory or forced self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment gives an individual the right not to be compelled or forced in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. Thus, a person who is accused of a certain criminal cannot be forced against his will to testify against himself for an act in which he is criminally charged at a legal proceeding (Tomkovicz, 2002).
This constitutional right gives an individual the privilege to be in a position to prohibit the introduction into evidence of a confession that was forcefully obtained by the police in the process of a predetermined trial interrogation.
A confession to be made against the accused one should be free and voluntary. This means that the confession shouldn't be obtained under any circumstance of threat or violation of human rights nor be obtained by any direct or implied promises. Also, the confession shouldn't be obtained by the exertion of any illegal influence.
In 1930, the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination hadn't been introduced. Thus, the constitution gives individual protection against being involuntarily called as a self-witness in criminal prosecution. In such a scenario if the police force a suspect to give confession as opposed to his will, and the confession is considered in a court of law, the suspect is termed to have been forced to testify against himself in a court of law.
Analysis of the Relevance of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments in Relation to Identification and Witnesses
The Fourth Amendment
The 4th Amendment addresses issues of protection of privacy. The third-party doctrines say that once information is shared with the third party, it loses protection. The Amendment also revolves around the issue of the emergence of a circular standard of "reasonable expectation of privacy".
The Amendment has major relevance in that constitutional protection of highly needed. Privacy requires constitutional protection to avoid influence from the tyranny of the majority. In relation to identification and witnesses, once personal information is exposed to any third party, it loses all Fourth Amendment protection, thus making it inconsistent and outdated (Treanor, 1995).
The Fifth Amendment
The 5th amendment puts into consideration double jeopardy, due process, Amendment versus grand juries, self-incrimination, and eminent domain. The Amendment is of much relevance in that it mainly gives protection to individual's rights from being abused by the government. It also ensures that the government is not in a capacity to take over individual's freedom over what they own as private property.
The Sixth Amendment
The 6th Amendment gives a provision that in any criminal prosecutions, the accused individual will enjoy the rights to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state. It also gives the individual the right to be informed of pending charges, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, right to legal counsel. The right to a speedy trial helps to minimize the time duration in which the accused is disrupted and burdened by the outcomes of the legal proceedings.
It also helps to limit the chances of the delay of the trial. A public trial helps to ensure a viable fact-finding mission of the judiciary by giving the citizens an opportunity to put forward relevant information. The right to trial by an impartial jury eliminates prerogatives aimed at interfering with the jury deliberations, aimed at disrupting the decisions of fairness, and avoids biases.
The Fourteenth Amendment
The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S constitution addresses issues on equality and human rights. It gives state and federal citizenship to all persons regardless of race whether by birth or naturalization. It also states that no particular state will be allowed to abridge the privileges and immunities entitled to the citizens. No particular individual will be deprived of the right to life, liberty, or property without following the legal process of the law. It also covers the right that no person will be denied the right to equal protection of the laws.
A focus on the right of women and relevant social programs is also considered. It prevents the government from interfering with the first eight rights listed in the Bill of Rights. It gives legal protection to the southern black individuals. The Amendment also hinders states from enacting laws that gave a limiting factor to the individual ownership of firearms. Thus, these would-be-victims accused of ownership of those firearms wouldn't be viable for penalization by the state for having made protection for themselves.