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[huge_it_share] Essay by: Jordyn Adamo

Essay Subject: The right to a trial by jury is a fundamental tenet of our legal system which is enshrined in the United States Constitution. Under current law, however, only people accused of serious crimes that are punishable by more than six months prison have an absolute right to a jury trial. Do you agree with the current state of the law? Why or why not.

The Right to Legal Representation

In the land of the free, the constitution’s sixth amendment states the right to a trial by jury. However, this right is indirectly being compromised by current trial regulations and laws. A current law states that “only citizens who are facing a crime punishable to more than sixth month’s jail time, are issued representation”. As it stands, this law is causing controversy because it does not allow for equal representation for all parties, therefore this law should be reviewed to ensure that it directly abides by the constitutions goal. This law should be modified because it does a disservice to the underprivileged by inhibiting them to a trial by jury and perpetuates class stereotypes.

The law regarding a right to a lawyer only applies when the charge corresponds to more than a sixth month criminal sentence. This stipulation dissuades the unfortunate to a trial because of their inability to afford a lawyer to represent themselves regardless of the charge or length of sentence they are faced with. Therefore, the law concerning the right to a lawyer should be reviewed to ensure an equality for all citizens. Because the law is not written this way, many lower class individuals are forced to endure their sentence though they may be innocent or at the wrong place at the wrong time. This law not only perpetuates the underprivileged to be charged for allegations they did not commit, but it is also tied to a larger problem. Though the law does not specifically contradict the constitution, it does indirectly violate the natural rights of the lower class. Not only are their rights infringed upon, but this seemingly simple law is also propagating class stereotypes regarding crime.

This one clause may be a cause for many of the lower classes’ negative stereotypes concerning crime. Though it is common for lower classes to be more prone to crime, this law may be causing unnecessary stereotypes. As discussed above, this law is causing the underprivileged to tolerate a sentence that they may have not been a perpetrator because they were unable to afford representation

 to fight their allegation. Rather than having a lawyer provided for them, they are left with no option, but to accept an inaccurate ruling. This then leads to a large amount of lower class individuals serving sentences they may or not have even committed. Consequently, the lower class is left with propaganda that enforces a negative stereotype that they are all criminals. Even though lower classes may be more susceptible to criminal activity, this law is incidentally producing the misconception that the unfortunate are all predetermined for crime.

America, the land of the free, should have laws that reflect this ideal. While every citizen is supposed to have a right to trial by jury, one law places stipulations on this constitutional right that is causing the underprivileged harm. All Americans, regardless of class and sentence should receive an attorney which would perpetuate and equal judicial system. For this reason this law should be reviewed to ensure that America stays the land of equal opportunity. While no judicial system is fool proof, the law, as it stands, is a clause that perpetuates inequality between the classes and should be reviewed.

 

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