19 terms

C.2.4 Civics

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Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, establishing rights and protections for American citizens
cruel and unusual punishment
punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; includes torture or other forms of punishment too severe for the crime committed
double jeopardy
the prosecution of a defendant for a criminal offense for which he has already been tried; prohibited in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
due process of law
a system of justice according to established rules and principles; based on the principle in the Fifth Amendment that a person cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without appropriate legal procedures and protections
eminent domain
the right of the government to take private property for public use; the Fifth Amendment requires that fair compensation be made when property is taken under this
equal protection under the law
a guarantee under the 14th Amendment that a state must treat a citizen or class of citizens the same as it treats other citizens or classes in like circumstances
First Amendment
an amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion, and from interfering with freedom of religious exercise, press, speech, assembly, or petition
pleading the fifth
the act of a person refusing to testify under oath in a court of law on the grounds that the answers could be used as evidence against him to convict him of a criminal offense
right to bear arms
the idea in the Second Amendment that people have an individual right to own and carry weapons
right to legal counsel
the right of a defendant to be assisted by an attorney, and if he cannot afford his own lawyer, the government must appoint one for him; established in the Sixth Amendment
search and seizure
the process by which
police or other authorities who suspect that a crime has been committed do a search of a person's property and collect any relevant evidence to the crime; protection from illegal search and seizure is in the Fourth Amendment
suffrage
the right to vote; protected in the 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments
trial by jury
a trial in which the issue is determined by a judge and a jury, usually with 12 members, whose job is to determine facts and make a judgment of guilty or not guilty; protected in the Sixth Amendment
unenumerated rights
according to the Ninth Amendment, any right that is not specifically addressed in the Constitution still may be protected (e.g., privacy)
constitutionality
whether or not something is legal under the U.S. Constitution
freedom of press
the right of the press to write and print news and information free from government involvement; guaranteed in the First Amendment
freedom of religious exercise
the right for citizens to practice the religion of their choice without government involvement; guaranteed in the First Amendment
freedom of speech
the right for citizens to speak freely without government involvement; guaranteed in the First Amendment
freedom to petition the government
the freedom for citizens to engage in any nonviolent, legal means of encouraging or disapproving government action, directed to the judicial, executive or legislative branch; guaranteed in the First Amendment