Criminal Justice Paper on Right to Counsel

Right to Counsel

The sixth amendment under the United States Constitution asserts everyone has a right to counsel during criminal cases. However, there exist debates in relation to the counsel’s rights, freedoms, and provisions based on the civil rights actions. The United States Supreme Court asserts that, an appointed counsel during a civil criminal case lacks rights to expression. During the Betts versus Brady criminal case, the Supreme Court asserted appointed counsel does not constitute to an essential right in order to guarantee a fair and reasonable trial. However, this affirmation was reversed during the Gideon versus Wainwright court case twenty one years later. The court held that, during lawbreaking cases a person is awarded a fundamental right to acquire a counsel. This was also affirmed under the Argersinger versus Hamlin court case during which the court held that, an appointed counsel guarantees a person a fair trial.  Thus, an appointed counsel is a fundamental right lending suspected criminals a chance to apply civil rights during defense (Alan 980).

The Supreme Court asserts that, appointing a counsel for an indigent criminal during the first appeal is a constitutional requirement. During the Ross versus Moffitt court case, the Supreme Court held that appointing a counsel guarantees fairness. However, the court asserted that the right to an appointed counsel does not guarantee that the criminal’s illegal and unethical records will be discredited during an appearance in the Supreme Court. The actual trial involves a trial stage and an appellate proceeding. During the trial stage, the suspected unlawful and illegal person is presented in a court and the charges against her/him read. Consequently, during the appellate proceeding the State may or fail to give to award an absolute right to declare the suspected criminal either guilty or innocent. The State should neither act unfairly nor biased in appointing a counsel during a court case. Thus, the State should not focus on levels of income, race, ethnicity and other aspects leading to discriminating in appointing a counsel (Alan 981).

An appointed counsel is tasked in ensuring a reviewed court case is obtained before the actual appellate proceeding. During the court case between Douglas versus California, the court held that an appointed counsel was the right towards the indigent criminal. The Supreme Court believes appointing a counsel is a Constitutional right. This is because an indigent criminal’s rights and freedoms in relation to the Constitution are protected and preserved. The counsel can therefore formally request for an optional and flexible appellate review in a Supreme Court before a conclusive decision is made (Alan 981).

An appointed counsel ought to ensure equal and impartial justice under the law is awarded according to the Constitutional promise. Although this process can be expensive, the Supreme Court asserts that an appointed counsel is vital in ensuring the court proceedings are fair, equal, and unbiased. An appointed counsel is tasked in ensuring the suspected criminal neither faces discriminatory charges nor unbiased court proceedings. The law maintains that a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty. Thus, their ethnicity, race, religious beliefs, cultural values and practices should neither hinder nor interfere with court proceedings to deliver a fair and just conclusion. Instead, the appointed counsel should ensure the suspected criminal is awarded a fair trial to determine if they are either guilty or innocent (Alan 981).

Fundamental amends within the justice system ought to be positive to diminish and abolish crime from the society. Poor civil litigants however are marred with unfair and biased difficulties in delivering a just constitutional proceeding. Western democracies award a suspected criminal the right to an appointed counsel especially during specific court cases and proceedings. During the Airey versus Ireland court case in 1979 under the European Court of Human Rights, fifty global nations asserted they are part of the European Convention. Under article six, civil litigants ought to award a person the right to a fair and impartial court hearing. These nations include Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada as they all ensure a person either selects or the court appoints a counsel to represent them during a court proceeding (Tarik 1).

Many civil litigations aim at achieving a fair and equal notion by appointing a counsel. All the States within United States award suspected criminals the right to an appointed criminal based on constitutional rights and provisions. This promises indigent criminals determined to go through a court case without prejudice or discrimination fundamental fairness. In 1981, a court case between Lassiter versus the Department of Social Services under the Supreme Court forced a retreat from simple notions of fairness. Corporeal liberties were at risk. Lassiter therefore ensured followed reversing court proceedings to adhere to constitutional rights and freedoms in making consistent court decisions. This awarded both parties with civil rights under the American Bar Association in order to urge jurisdictions to provide legal counsels. Legally appointed counsels protect and promote basic human rights, needs, and freedoms across organizations, academic journals, persons, and the country. This initiative should contribute towards creating wealth in relation to knowledge and awareness across States and globally. Global persons should therefore enjoy the right to an appointed counsel in order to maintain parental and constitutional rights. An appointed counsel on the other hand should emphasize to constitutional and human rights in order to achieve and maintain inherent powers and rights to privacy, legal guidance, and a fair hearing (Tarik 2).

Works Cited

Alan, Stein. The Indigent’s “Right” to Counsel in Civil Cases, Fordham Law Review, 43(6): 989-1010. Print. 

Tarik, Jallad. A Civil Right to Counsel: International and National Trends, UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, Working Research Paper, 2009. Print.