Right to Counsel

In the United States, we have several rights that have been put in place to help the American people maintain their rights against the government. There are also laws set in place to help protect the American people against the law enforcement agencies as well. The protection from law enforcement agencies comes in the form of protection from illegal search and seizure, and to make sure the accused has a right to counsel. In the Constitution of the United States, the Sixth Amendment was put in place to make sure the accused had the right to counsel so they would be able to understand the law and the charges that are being brought against them.

    Many individuals as citizens don’t have the knowledge to understand the laws and the jargon that is written with them. If they don’t understand it, then they can very well sign a guilty plea without knowing it. The right to counsel in the Sixth Amendment is there to make sure that someone is there to counsel the individual and explain the law and what charges are being presented. In the following paragraphs I will explain the right to counsel as well as explain self representation.

    According to Orin Kerr, defense attorneys were banned from the courts in the 16th and 17th century. By the late 17th century though, defense attorneys were allowed in court, but only to help with treason cases. This had changed by the 18th century though were attorneys were allowed in court during other criminal cases as well. In the United States Constitution, the Sixth Amendment reads as follows,” 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...