The Bill of Rights Response Essay
United States of America is synonymous with upholding of the rule of law. Laws such as the Bill of Rights have seen the thriving of democracy and individual rights in the country. Historically, the country has been the preferred destination for many people seeking refuge from repressive political regimes, religious persecution, and social and economic repression due to its thriving democracy and safeguarding of human rights. Amended severally, the Bill of Rights is a fundamental component of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees and safeguards individual and government rights. It also offers limitations of such rights. This response essay offers a personal analysis of the 6th Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Amendment 6 captures the gist as a vital component of the American society. The American justice system is one of the fundamental pillars of American society. Amendment 6 offers key indicators for assessing the effectiveness of the justice system including impartial jury and speedy trial that is conducted in an environment that is accessible to the general public. Historically, the lack of impartial juries has led to some controversial rulings in landmark cases in the country. The infamous Scottsboro Boys case was controversial not only because of the manner in which the cases were handled and the sentences handed out but also because of the partial juries that handled their cases. Impartiality of the jury extends beyond the ideologically inclinations of the individuals. Amendment 6 ensures that the jury is comprised of peers of the accused.
Most miscarriages of justice in the country are due to failure by the justice system to effectively implement Amendment 6 of the Bill of Rights. Many people have lost cases because they did understand the nature of what they were accused of. Judicial ignorance, which the amendment guards against, is a significant problem affecting the dispensation of justice. Failure to understand the nature and cause of the accusation can lead to misinformed decisions, especially when plea bargains are involved. An accused may be cajoled into taking a plea bargain by the prosecutors who take advantage of their lack of understanding of the law. In some cases, the accused may have effectively argued and won such cases. However, they take plea bargains not only because they do not understand the cause and nature of the accusation but also because they cannot access witnesses in their favor.
The provision in Amendment 6 that calls for access to assistance of counsel to help defendants is well thought and is an important step towards impartial trial and avoiding miscarriage of justice (American Bar Association n.p.). It allows the defendants to have someone in their corner who understands the legal lingua and the process involved within the judicial system, as well as ensures that justice is served and preserved. However, the provision has failed to move effectively beyond paper. The crafters of the constitution had envisioned a well-oiled and fully functional judicial system capable of handling all cases in its docket. Perhaps, this underpins the wording of the provision. While the provision makes it mandatory for a defendant to receive assistance of counsel, it does not underscore the quality of such assistance. This has seen many public defendants overwhelmed by numerous cases. In most cases, the public defendants do not prepare effectively for the cases leading to high conviction rates for the defendants that rely on public defendants.