The Constitution, Part VIII

Thanksgiving is due for the principles underlying the sixth amendment. Surrounded by farms, the church and the town hall formed the nucleus of our earliest towns. Our forefathers knew that secret, biased trials would not work, so they outlined this second of four amendments to help the judicial process remain unencumbered. Do you think you can memorize it by Thanksgiving?


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.

Note how the Roman governor Festus used these principles when allowing Paul to reply to his accusers in Acts 25 (esp. verse 16).

One Comment

  1. Don and Donna Staddon November 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I appreciate how this amendment is designed to protect THE PEOPLE from unjust governments.
    Our forefathers were keenly aware of how easily governments can become corrupted, and sought through amendments like this to limit the powers of government.

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