Your written assignment for this week is designed to help you identify important procedural protections and wording in the Bill of Rights. Read and carefully study the wording of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments. These are often the amendments associated with criminal justice issues and the procedural rights of suspects in a criminal case. As you review and study the wording, consider who prepared the wording of the amendments and the era in which they were written. These amendments are often criticized for being vague, ambiguous and dated. One of the roles of the US Supreme Court is to interpret these amendments and provide clarity in their application. Consider these examples: •The Fourth Amendment provides protection for “unreasonable searches and seizures”. What does unreasonable mean? •The Fifth Amendment provides for “due process of law”. What does this mean? •The Sixth Amendment provides for a “speedy” trial. What constitutes speedy? •The Eighth Amendment protects against “cruel and unusual punishment”. What types of actions constitute cruel and unusual punishment? Choose one of the examples above. Write a 2-3 page paper that addresses the following questions. Do not write in a question/answer format; the assignment should be in paragraph form that incorporates the question and the answer. 1.Identify the historical context of the example. What did the framers of the Constitution have in mind when creating this verbiage of the amendment? What was happening in the world to prompt the inclusion of this? 2.Identify a US Supreme Court decision that provided interpretation and clarity of the example. Include the citation of the case. 3.Provide a summary of the original (lower court) case. 4.What were the legal issues being considered? 5.What did the US Supreme Court decide? How did the court provide clarity in the interpretation of the amendment? 6.What were the primary concerns with the dissenting opinion(s)?
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