Ammendment 6

By Johnathan Washington


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Historical Background

As the Supreme Court noted, “Of all the rights that an accused person has, the right to be represented by counsel is by far the most pervasive, for it affects his ability to assert any other rights he may have.” The amendment is one of the original ten Bill of Rights, and became law in 1791 when it was ratified by the states.

What the 6th Amendment means

This amendment means that no criminal should be sitting in years in jail for a trial to see if he is innocent or guilty

Supreme Court Cases

Gideon v. Wainwright 372 U.S. 335 (1963)

prior decision of the Court’s, Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455 (1942), held that the refusal to appoint counsel for an indigent defendant charged with a felony in state court did not necessarily violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court granted Gideon’s petition for a writ of certiorari – that is, agreed to hear Gideon’s case and review the decision of the lower court – in order to determine whether Betts should be reconsidered. The ruling was reversed and remanded

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