The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Sixth Amendment

What freedoms does the Sixth Amendment protect?

The Sixth Amendment provides: “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.”

It contains many protections to those charged with crimes. Sometimes people colloquially refer to the Sixth Amendment as the one that provides fair-trial rights to criminal defendants. It protects the rights to a speedy trial, a public trial, an impartial jury, information and notice of criminal charges, right to confront witnesses, right to have court compel witnesses to come to trial to testify and the right to the assistance of counsel.

Most people have no desire to see the inside of a courtroom, but if circumstances require it U.S. citizens all have right to a speedy trial with an impartial jury (iStock).

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