Impartial jury
• Prevents oppression by the government, reflects reluctance to trust questions of life and liberty to a judge.
• Defendant can waive right to a jury trial.
• No constitutional right to jury trial in juvenile proceedings.
• Jury of peers does not mean same age, same neighborhood but must be selected from a representative cross section of the community from which the defendants comes.
• Jury pools come from government lists (voter registration, drivers license, state identifications). They should represent the racial and ethnic makeup of the community.
• Jurors chosen must be unbiased. Jurors are questioned about their impartiality and are removed through challenges if necessary.
Informed of accusation
• The state must inform suspects of the nature of the charges against them.
Confront witnesses
• Suspects have the right to question the state’s witnesses.
• Confrontation Clause requires that the witnesses be present in most cases and is connected to the “hearsay rule” in the rules of evidence.
• No face-to-face confrontation requirement with child sex crime victims.
Obtaining witnesses through compulsory process
• Suspects have the right to subpoena witnesses on their own behalf. This is the right to present a defense.
Assistance of counsel
• Absolute right to an attorney after initiation of criminal case (line up, custodial police interrogation, juvenile delinquency proceedings, felony trials, guilty pleas and sentencing.)
• Right doesn’t apply to photo identifications, pre-charge line-ups, taking of handwriting, fingerprints, voice samples, preliminary hearings to determine probable cause to detain, post-conviction proceedings.
• Applies for court appointed lawyers and private lawyers.
• The right to counsel is the right to affective assistance of counsel.
• Also guarantees the defendant the right to represent him or herself. This right must be asserted knowingly and intelligently, judge can deny under some circumstances.


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Terms and Tidbits
Excessive bail
• Amount of bail is linked to what is needed to guarantee that the accused will be present to stand trial and submit to sentencing if found guilty.
• Bail must be set to ensure the government’s goal, but no higher.
• Preventive detention is the process of denying bail when the defendant is charged with very serious felonies and poses a threat to the safety of the community.
Excessive fines
• Supreme Court has had little to say about this. Addresses the issues in other areas such as equal protection.
Cruel and unusual punishments
• A concern throughout history, related both to torture and barbaric punishment (drawing and quartering, beheading, public dissecting, burning alive, etc.) and to arbitrary and disproportionate punishments.
• Few court cases.
• Although severe penalties may be cruel, they might not be unusual in the constitutional sense because they have been employed in various forms throughout history.
• Interpretation of this has been one of the major points in death penalty cases.
• Mitigating and aggravating circumstances must be considered in death penalty cases.