the legal constitutional protections against government. Although they are formally set down in the Bill of Rights, the courts, police, and legislatures define their meaning.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution, which define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press, and guarantee defendant's rights
the constitutional amendment that establishes the four great liberties: freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, and of assembly
the constitutional amendment adopted after the Civil War that states, "N State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
the legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment
Part of the First Amendment stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
Free Exercise Clause
A First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
A government preventing material from being published. This is a common method of limiting the press n some nations, but is usually unconstitutional in the United States, according to the First Amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 Supreme Court case of Near v. Minnesota
Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded it protection under the First Amendment
Communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the Supreme Court
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence
Unreasonable Searches & Seizures
Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Probable cause and/or a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence
A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for
The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
the constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without due process of law.
the situation occur8ing when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. The Fifth Amendment forbids this
the constitutional amendment designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. It includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
a bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or additional) crime
the constitutional amendment that forbids cruel and unusual punishment, although it does not define this phrase
Cruel & Unusual Punishment
Court sentences prohibited by the 8th Amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment
Right to Privacy
the right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government.