The term “. We are used to the concept of in a modern courtroom setting where the prosecution has to work to prove a ‘s . It is part of a broader range of legal clauses designed to protect us if we are falsely accused and uphold basic rights to minimize the occurrence of wrongful convictions.” is something that we can easily take for granted within the legal system and, more specifically, the
But where does the term “” originate?
According to the Constitution and Bill of Rights clauses, what is the meaning of ?
The presence of the phrase is an interesting misnomer about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and all the amendments. First, there is the assumption that one of the many clauses related to law and order contains the phrase “ .”
However, that isn’t the case. Instead, the notion comes from a combination of factors from previous laws, subsequent cases, and the interpretation of other Amendments over time.
The term may not be written in stone in the same way as the right to bear arms or other clauses. But, the evolution of the legal system makes it synonymous with the Bill of Rights.
Why do we associate “” with the U.S Constitution?
The Bill of Rights is one of the most important documents in American history as it outlines a series of 10 fundamental rights for U.S. citizens. They form the basis of federal laws and broader notions of the freedoms associated with America. Over time, Congress added further constitutional amendments to modernize laws.
According to constitution clauses, the document’s significance and its place in mean that we presume we’ll find reference to according to constitution clauses.
While this isn’t directly true, as that phrase is not found verbatim, there are enough references to similar notions across major amendments. These undoubtedly helped mold the judicial system presuming until rather than “guilty until .”
Obviously, for someone to be would be an extremely difficult task in many cases, even if true. But unfortunately, guilty until is used as a standard in many countries and causes many suspects to be wrongly accused, often by .
The 5th Amendment.
The 5th Amendment was an important first step in protecting suspects and getting closer to a fairer legal system. There is no direct mention of , but the ideas made it harder for the enforcer to punish suspects or work under notions of presumed .
The main clause is that “No person shall be compelled in any to be a witness against himself.”
This clause remains in force as it puts the responsibility on the prosecution to work with witnesses and statements in a fairer process. The amendment also mentions that no one should be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This concept reappears years later.
Historians also point out that James Madison influenced the term “innocent before ” because of his work on this amendment. He was keen for the law to lean towards protecting the innocent for a fairer system.
The 6th Amendment.
The 6th Amendment takes the idea of fair trials for the accused further. First, it established the right for individuals to have legal aid, emphasizing that this extended to everyone regardless of the accusation.
The clause also provides the right to “a speedy and public , by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the shall have been committed.” This mention of an impartial jury is crucial as they must be convinced of the suspect’s .
The 14th Amendment.
This later amendment declares that:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
This part of the amendment brings the previous points together to ensure that all citizens receive the same treatment. In addition, this idea of bridging immunities works with the concept of as it favors the .
It solidifies the idea that can’t deprive suspects of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This continues that idea of a with due process where it is the prosecutor’s work to prove rather than the to prove .
This is especially important when you start to consider what means.
When you read these clauses together and go through the subtext, it is easy to see the notions of – even if it isn’t there in black and white. However, other documents use the term that plays their part.
Where does the term come from?
There are clear ideas of in courtroom settings and rights from these amendments. It is also worth noting that there is an attribution of the phrase “presumed ” was attributed to a British barrister in 1761. This may have had its influence on the creation of the Constitution.
However, we also need to look at alternative documents to see a more literal use of the phrase. Some of these are far more contemporary, so they would not have been the original basis for the concept in the United States.
However, when we combine the wording with those previous notions, we get a combination that ties the two together. It is then much easier to assume that the phrase came earlier.
The Universal Declaration of .
One of these documents is the Universal Declaration of . This was signed as recently as 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Article 11 of the document says:
“Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed .”
Here the term is black and white with no room for misinterpretation. It also applies to more than just the citizens of the United States. It discusses the importance of a public “at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.”
Pronoun issues aside, this makes the concept of a much broader guarantee.
There is also similar wording in Article 14 of the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights from 1966. It states that “everyone charged with a criminal offense shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”
The first notable use of in U.S Law.
If we want to better understand the term innocent and where it comes from, it helps to look at key historical cases.
One commonly cited as the starting point for over presumed is Coffin vs. the U.S. from 1894.
The Coffin case revolves around an accusation of misapplication of funds on Francis A. Coffin and Percival A. Coffin. They were also said to have made false entries into bank records. At the time, the established the need for the assumption of with the prosecution proving their . While this is standard practice now, it seems that this was a landmark approach that would influence judicial procedure from thereon.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t other cases and courts interpreting the 5th and 6th Amendments in favor of defendants this way. But, the Coffin Case is seen as a pivotal moment.
Protection of defendants evolved with the creation of the Miranda Rights.
It is also important to note that the law continues to change where necessary to uphold the idea of further. A good example is the Miranda Rights. This is what and should offer to anyone they arrest, which is fair treatment and better utilize those Amendments. This includes the right to remain silent so that suspects don’t say anything incriminating without legal representation present. There is also that right to a lawyer. Without the reading of the rights, statements may be inadmissible.
This development came from the ‘s 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision. The found that Ernesto Arturo Miranda’s Fifth and rights were ignored after his arrest, violating his right to a .
Decades later, it was ruled that a suspect’s statements could still be admissible without the Miranda Rights explained if there was a concern for public safety.
“” evolved from the U.S. Constitution to become just as important as other rights.
This important phrase in the may not be as ingrained in constitutional history as we suspect, but that doesn’t lessen the importance. Many Bill of RIghts notions led to vital applications of those constitutional amendments within law and order. For example, the promise of a where no suspect should act as a witness nor be refused legal guidance always made more sense with a of over the Declaration of , and this process with inevitable. of . Add in the Universal
According to constitution clauses, we can’t directly find . But, it doesn’t matter if it is an official or unofficial constitutional right as long as it remains in force.
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