Bill of Rights

Clifford Stephens

6th Amendment

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 defense.

Meaning of the Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment is an amendment that establishes specific rights for those accused of criminal actions.

Historical Background of the Sixth Amendment

Amendment VI Right to Speedy Trial by Jury, Witnesses, Counsel. Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.

Gideon V. Wainwright (1963)

This month we spotlight the landmark criminal procedure case Gideon v. Wainwright (1963). The individual at the center of this case, Clarence Gideon, sent a handwritten petition to the Supreme Court challenging his conviction for breaking into a Florida pool hall. He argued that he did not have a fair trial because he had not been given a lawyer to help him with his defense. The Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s protection of the right to counsel meant that the government must provide an attorney for accused persons who cannot afford one at public expense.The Court unanimously overturned his conviction, reasoning that the right to counsel was fundamental, and that lawyers in criminal cases were necessities, not luxuries. Accept reasoned answers.

Speedy Trial