Fifth Amendment

Karla Padilla

Amendment Statement:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury , expect in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."


If are in a trial for a capital crime, you can be charged once for it. For it to actually count , a grand jury must decide if there is enough evidence or not. Nothing is allowed to be taken from your possession unless given a fair trial first. If the government does take your belongings, they have to pay for it.

Historical Background of Amendment:

The fifth amendment was written by James Madison, who was a Virgina lawyer and later became fourth president of the United States of America. The amendment was ratified by the required three- fourths of the states on December15, 1791. The reason why it was added to the Constitution was because it provided the Constitution's broadest and strongest protections against the government abuse of power. The amendment was proposed by the Congress submitting it to the states on September 25, 1789 with nine other amendments.

Supreme Court Case: Background

Name of case: " Rodney King Case" which occurred in 1991.

Rodney King, an African American, was driving but was intoxicated with alcohol and was chased in a run for drinking and driving. As soon as the police had captured him, their first instinct was to violently beat him before he could do any more damage. A witness observed the tragedy from afar and had taken a video of the fight. Eventually, the video was released to the public and was referred as "police brutality".

Court's Decision

The Court had decided to testify King but to be used as a witness against the police officers which were later charged with assault with a deadly weapon, the use of excessive force, and filling a false police report. The federal grand jury had also decided that the police officers violated King's civil rights, which led them later about two and a half years behind bars. A similar situation had happened in the South Central of Los Angeles, involving ten whites, one Filipino American, one Latino, acquitted with four police officers. Publicity didn't take any of this well, so they started a riot causing many deaths.



Historical Background and Supreme Court Information:

"Fifth Amendment." Constitutional Amendments: From Freedom of Speech to Flag Burning. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: UXL, 2008. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.