The defendant’s rights at trial include the right to a speedy trial, to an impartial judge, and an impartial jury. There are six steps to the trial process. The steps include selection of a jury, opening statements, presentation of evidence and testimony of witnesses, closing arguments, charging of the jury and deliberation (Hamilton County Ohio, 2015). Through the process it is important that the due process rights of the parties involved are respected. This is especially essential to the defendant in each case since they have the most to lose. The Right to A Speedy Trial What is a speedy trial? That question was not answered until 1966.
The Supreme Court identified the right through the Sixth Amendment’s speedy trial provision in the court case of United States v. Ewell three distinct advantages of having a speedy trial. “It prevents excessive incarceration, it minimizes anxiety experienced by the accused as a result of a publicized accusation and it prevents damage to the defendant’s case resulting from too much delay” (United States, 1966). Then in 1972, the court added from Barker v. Wingo, that ban accused that cannot afford bail must remain in custody. In the case of Barker v. Wingo; Mr. Barker could not afford bail and had to spend ten months in the jail during his trial.
The courts looked at the negative long term effects of the prolonged exposure to time behind bars and stated that “lengthy exposure to these conductions has a destructive effect on human character and makes the rehabilitations of the individual offender much more difficult” (Barker, 1972). Also, the court had to look at the loss of wages that Mr. Barker was forced to suffer. Society and the Government benefit from a 2 Jury Trial Analysis Paper speedy trial because a guilty verdict can be quickly made and it reduces the amount of time the accused has out on bail to commit more crimes (Worrall, 2012).
Also, if a defendant cannot afford bail a speedy trial reduces the amount of time the accused spends in jail, which helps to lower the financial cost on the government (Worrall, 2012). Even though the Sixth Amendment guarantees a person the right to a speedy trial there are restrictions. The case of United States v. Marion brings up the accusation rule. This holds that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee to a speedy trial attaches only after the person has been accused of a crime (Bloomberg Law, 1971).
The Court went on to explain that the act of being accused of a crime does not mean formal charges have to be filed. Being arrested and held to answer to a criminal charge is enough for a person to be accused of a crime (Worrall, 2012). Impartial Judge The Sixth Amendment protects our right to a speedy trial and an impartial jury. The impartial judge is found in the Fourteenth Amendment. This right applies to both a bench trial, where a judge decides the accused fate and in the standard jury trial. In the case of Turney v. Ohio from 1927; the Supreme Court first decided on the matter of an impartial judge. In this case the judge overseeing the trial was also the mayor.
Since the judge was the mayor he was receiving the fines and fees that he was imposing against those convicted in his courtroom (Worall, 2012). The Supreme Court ruled “due process is violated when the judge has a direct, personal, substantial pecuniary interest in reaching a conclusion against him in his case”(Worall, 2012). A similar case is Ward v. Monroeville. The Judge was also the mayor, though the money from the fines went to the town’s budget, in which the mayor had access to. Another case was Dugan v.
Ohio, the 3 Jury Trial Analysis Paper Judge again was the mayor. In this case it was ruled that there was no violation because he was on the board for city commissions. Being on the board meant he was not the only one in charge of the money. In this case the mayor had no access to the money, but he did have control of it (Worrall, 2012). These decisions by the Supreme Court have made a positive impact on the accused right to an impartial judge. Impartial Jury Federal courts have always recognized the right to a jury trial. It wasn’t until Duncan v. Louisiana in 1968 that this right extended to state courts (Worrall, 2012).
Also the Supreme Court noted “the right to a jury trial is an inestimable safeguard against the corrupt or overzealous prosecutor and against the compliant, biased or eccentric judge” (Worrall, 2012). While the right to an impartial judge applies to all cases the right to impartial jury does not. Not all court cases have juries. In the case of Baldwin v. New York the petty crime exception said the right to a jury does not apply to petty crimes. The court argued, “the disadvantages, onerous through they may be of denying a jury trial for a petty crime are “outweighed by the benefits that result from speedy and inexpensive nonjury adjudication” (Worrall, 2012). Then there is the case of Blanton v. City of North Las Vegas from 1989.
This case said an impartial jury is not required for anything that requires less than a 6-month sentence. Conclusion The saying knowledge is power really hits home when it comes to knowing your rights when arrested. The United States government has laws in place to protect our personal rights from people who would abuse them. Knowing your rights can greatly 4 Jury Trial Analysis Paper impact the outcomes of your case. The best way to protect your rights is to known if a violation is taking place and to fight for it to be restored. 5 Jury Trial Analysis Paper References Barker v. Wingo, 407 U. S. 514 (1972). http://caselaw.
lp. findlaw. com/scripts/getcase. pl? court=US&vol=407&invol=514 Bloomberg Law. (1971). 404 U. S. 307, 92 S. Ct. 455, 30 L. Ed. 2d. 468, 1971 U. S. http://www. casebriefs. com/blog/law/criminal-procedure/criminal-procedure- keyed-to-weinreb/the-right-to-a-speedy-trial/united-states-v-marion-2/ Hamilton County Ohio. (2015). Steps in a Trial. http://www. hamilton- co. org/MunicipalCourt/Jury/steps_in_a_trial. htm United States v. Ewell, 383 U. S. 116 (1966). https://supreme. justia. com/cases/federal/us/383/116/ WORRALL, J. (2012). CRIMINAL PROCEDURE FROM FIRST CONTACT TO APPEAL (4TH EDITION). UPPER Saddle, NJ: Pearson.