Sixth Amendment

Sixth Amendment

Project description
Please consider how state and federal courts may have strained (or not) the spirit of the Sixth Amendment, whose provisions include the right to a speedy and public trial, to be confronted with witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel.


Please select one or more cases mentioned below, each of which is controversial in terms of the Sixth Amendment. Then evaluate the degree to which the federal or state courts in question upheld or abridged Amendment VI, in your opinion. Also, please mention, or refer to, the culture of the legal profession, the practice of law and/or the structure and administration of the courts (from Abadinsky, Chapters 4 – 6). How did this context influence the Court’s decisions (for better or for worse).


Please choose at least one case:


1. Powell v. Alabama (1932) (The Scottsboro Boys)


2. Betts v. Brady (1942)


3. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)


4. Jose Padilla 2005, US Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit:


The Sixth 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.”