Law Enforcement and the Rights of the Accused

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Law Enforcement and the Rights of the Accused

Law Enforcement and the Rights of the Accused

In this paper, I will discuss Amendments VI, V, VI and VIII which give rights to the accused. I will also examine how these rights affect law enforcement procedures. I will then give details on which law enforcement agencies each amendment affects and how.

Amendment VI gives the people the right against unreasonable search and seizure. It also states that a warrant has to be signed by a judge and cannot be issued without probably cause. The warrant also has to specify the place that will be search, the person to be search or what will be seized. (Constitution.Org, n.d.)

The amendment puts limitations on law enforcement officers. If a police officer suspects something illegal is happening within a residence, he must obtain a warrant and have probable cause. This can lead to evidence disappearing during the time it takes an officer to obtain the warrant and enter the house. It also applies to using devices to observe what is happening inside a private residence. This right to privacy was tested in Kyllo v. United States. Law enforcement officers suspected that Danny Kyllo was growing marijuana in his home. In lieu of getting a warrant, officers decided to use a thermal imager to see the amount of heat coming from the house. A large amount of heat would indicate the use of high-intensity lamps. The officers subsequently obtained their warrant and arrested Kyllo. The Supreme Court ruled that Kyllo’s Fourth Amendment rights had been violated as he should be able to assume that he has privacy in his own home. (Farb, 2002)

Such limitations also apply to vehicle stops and searches. A law officer cannot stop a car ...

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...ould be today. Today our courts have to rule on these amendments as they apply to our world now. Many interpretations of these amendments have been made and I am sure that, in the future, many more will be needed.


Bill of Rights. (n.d.). In Constitution.Org. Retrieved February 28, 2101 from

Farb, R. (2002). The fourth amendment, privacy, and law enforcement. Popular Government. Retrieved February 28, 2010 from

Fifth Amendment. (n.d.). In Cornell University Law School (LII Legal Information Institute). Retrieved March 1, 2010 from

Hudson v. McMillian. (n.d.). In U.S. Supreme Court Media Oyez. Retrieved March 1, 2010 from
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