The Fifth Amendment is important because it specifies legal safeguards for the criminally accused that are designed to protect citizens' life, liberty and property. Among these safeguards are protection against multiple trials for the same crime and the right to refrain from presenting self-incriminating testimony.Continue Reading
The first of the Fifth Amendment's five clauses stipulates that no one can be tried for an "infamous crime" unless indicted by a grand jury. The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University explains that federal law establishes the grand jury number as between 16 and 23, and that grand jurors are selected from the pool of prospective jurors who could serve in any juror capacity on a given day. Infamous crimes are those that are punishable by more than year in prison.
The Legal Information Institute observes that the Double Jeopardy clause protects defendants from successive trials for the same act by providing that they will not be prosecuted for the same crime following an acquittal or conviction.
The Fifth Amendment also protects defendants from having to offer self-incriminating evidence in court. Due to the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, the self-incrimination clause extends to other legal proceedings like police interrogations.
The Due Process Clause requires the government to respect all rights, protections and statutes before depriving anyone of life, liberty or property.
The Just Compensation Clause obligates the government to compensate individuals fairly when it takes property under its power of eminent domain.Learn more about The Constitution
Before life, liberty or property can be taken away by the state, an individual has to be afforded the protection of due process of law. The Fifth and 14th Amendments safeguard fair legal process prior to any taking, according to Cornell University Law School.Full Answer >
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that those people born in or naturalized by the United States are citizens of the United States and the state where they live. They are therefore entitled to the protection of the law and cannot be denied the privileges or immunities due them.Full Answer >
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution delegates powers outside of the limits of the federal government to state governments or to individual citizens. This amendment is notorious for expressing the reserved powers within the U.S. Constitution.Full Answer >
According to FindLaw, the Fifth Amendment protects those on U.S. soil who are accused of a crime from being compelled to testify against themselves. This protection means that defendants cannot be required to testify at their own criminal trial, and it also means that no one accused or suspected of a crime can be compelled to answer questions during police interrogations. Defendants and suspects can waive this right.Full Answer >