POLS 15 –  Other Due Process Rights
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POLS 15 – Other Due Process Rights

[music] The Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments contain other rights for criminal defendants. One of these is the right to remain silent. If the government accuses you of a crime, the proof is entirely on them to prove that you did it. And the jury must be told that the fact
that you’re remaining silent does not indicate that you’re guilty. However, the right against self-incrimination only applies in criminal cases, not in civil cases, so if you’re ever sued, you must answer
all questions in court. The Constitution also guarantees everyone who’s charged with a crime
that might result in jail time the right to an attorney,
and if they can’t afford one, the state will pay for one. And any evidence that’s obtained in violation of
the Constitution can’t be admitted in court. This is called the exclusionary rule. The Constitution also forbids prosecuting
someone twice for the same crime. This is known as double jeopardy. However, like all due process protections, it only applies to criminal suits, not civil suits. So even if you’re acquitted,
someone can still sue you. In addition, because of federalism, both
the state and the federal government can prosecute you for the same crime. The Eighth Amendment also prohibits
cruel and unusual punishment. The main controversy is
whether the Eighth Amendment permits the death penalty. The text of the Constitution seems
to suggest that it does. However, in 1972,
the Supreme Court said the death penalty was unconstitutional. They decided this because they said
that it was imposed arbitrarily, and that there was a high chance it was imposed in a
racially discriminatory manner. After many states made changes
to their death penalty procedures, the Court allowed it again in 1976. However, there are still significant limits
on the death penalty. For example, it cannot be imposed in a way that causes too much suffering. It also can’t be imposed on individuals who were minors when they committed their crime. Nor can it be imposed on those with
developmental disabilities. And it can only be imposed for murder
and not other crimes, such as rape. Finally, the cruel and unusual punishment clause does not apply to sentences that
seem very, very long. The Supreme Court upheld a lifetime sentence for someone convicted for their first-time
possession of cocaine. [music]

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