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What Are Civil Liberties?

Civil rights march

Civil Liberties are rights granted to us through the constitution. These are rights people have just because they are on United States soil. Many of them come from the Bill of Rights, such as the right to free speech, freedom of religion, etc. Though many of these rights are well known, let’s delve a little deeper into the history and the differences between a Civil Liberty and a Civil Right.

What Did Rosa Parks Do?

Rosa Parks

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks is best known for refusing to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man, becoming an iconic figure in the civil rights movement. This incident took place on December 1st, 1955.

Mapp v. Ohio

Hammer and gavel

In 1957, police received a tip that they would find a man called Virgil Ogletree and illegal betting equipment at the home of Dollree Mapp. Mapp declined to give police permission to enter her home. Three hours after the initial refusal, police officers illegally forced their way into Mapp’s home.

Self Incrimination in the Constitution

Photo of woman shushing

When a witness is testifying at a trial, there is a risk that the he or she might say something that incriminates themselves. They may, for example, admit to something that proves they are partly responsible for a crime committed or that they committed another criminal offense.

Miranda vs. Arizona Case

Photo of Judge's hammer

When the police arrest a criminal suspect in the United States, they must read them their rights. Because it is so common in television and movies, everyone is familiar with this. A suspect will be told that they “have the right to remain silent” and that anything they say can and will be used against them in court.

The Right to a Speedy Trial

Photo of a US courtroom

The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth amendments of the United States Constitution all deal with the rights of people accused or convicted of crimes. These amendments give people the right to a fair trial, forbid cruel and unusual punishment, and require a trial to happen quickly.