The Sixth Amendment

Any Attack on the Constitution is an Attack on the Freedom for Which it Stands

Noah Burger

The United States Constitution is the framework for a free society, built around the rights of the people. Any infringement on its code, no matter how severe, or how light, is a threat to that society. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the rights of criminal defendants, including, among other things, “the Right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed” (Legal Information Institute, 2017). The right to be tried by an impartial jury of your peers is one of the most important rights contained within the United States Constitution – it protects We the People from courts being used as tyrannical arms.

Opponents of the jury system site statistical outliers as the basis for necessitating the removal of our constitutional rights. Indeed, there are instances when trial by jury may lead to jury nullifications, or acquittals, deemed underserving by legal scholars. However, these isolated events are nowhere near prevalent enough to justify the eradication of a free society. The Radical Left have made it a trend to amplify isolated events, fostering emotional support for the removal the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to privacy, and the right to a fair trial. Where we go one, we go all; even if the Left only succeeds in removing one constitutional right, their mission to destroy our inherently free society will have been successful.

Adjusting for the inevitable backlash that would likely result from completely removing any constitutional right, the Left have strategically planned a sectional break down of our constitutional rights. Essentially, they attack our rights piece by piece, instead of all at once, effectively hiding their true intentions in plain sight. Utilizing this approach, opponents of the jury system have suggested alternatives, such as replacing the jury with panels of judges, or with “professionally trained jurors” (Dimond, 2011). These methods are even worse than removing the jury entirely, because not only do they allow the courts to be used as tyrannical arms, they do so in a way that creates the illusion of the opposite.

Governments have long used courts as arms of tyranny. One could argue that the constitutional protections against this are some of the most important rights contained within the document, as it essentially guarantees the other rights. Any partial infringement on any constitutional right destroys the integrity of the entire right. Without the Sixth Amendment, there would be nothing protecting the people from courts being implemented to suppress the First Amendment. Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court illustrated this idea in 1790, when he wrote, “without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression” (Bill of Rights Institute, n.d.). In closing, when answering the question of whether we should infringe on any constitutional right, such as the right to an impartial jury of our peers, we should ignore any emotional temptation spawned by isolated events, and trust the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who gave their lives fighting against the same forms of tyranny we see being born today.

References

Bill of Rights Institute. (n.d.). Founders’ Quotes. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/founders-quotes/?fbclid=IwAR3M_8mWOcfs3OIwOnuAgyzv0S2fKLijeHPayaGL9l-Z1FOyR_FrC7wyDXQ

Dimond, D. (2011, July 27). Professional Jurors: Has the Time Come? Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-dimond/professional-jurors-has-t_b_867839.html

Legal Information Institute. (2017, October 10). Sixth Amendment. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/sixth_amendment

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