Constitution Countdown Sixth Amendment

Photo by Andre Rowlett.

The Constitution Day, September 17, is the anniversary of the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. Though the Bill of Rights was not ratified until 1791, Sidelines will be breaking down one of the first ten amendments each day between now and September 17.

The Amendment:

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. –

The Meaning:

The sixth amendment regulates the criminal trial process to ensure fair and equal judgement.

The Effect:

One of the more detailed amendments, the sixth sets and upholds the standards for prosecution and trial in the judicial system. without the sixth amendment, trials wouldn’t have a fixed set of rules that outline how to treat all defendants the same. Without a routine and fair penal system, citizens accused of crimes could be subject to bias, excessive delay or even arrest without proper reasoning.

In other words, the sixth amendment constructed the framework for fair judgment in the American judicial system.

For more Constitution Countdown, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @MTSUSidelines.

To contact news editor Sarah Grace Taylor, email

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