What Is the Sixth Amendment?

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The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that all people accused of crimes have the right to a quick and public trial presided over by a jury in the district in which the alleged crime took place. The accused is allowed to know what he is accused of.

The Sixth Amendment states that the person on trial must be able to face witnesses for the prosecution, must have the opportunity to present witnesses for his or her defense and must have access to an attorney working on his behalf. The rights listed in this amendment are part of a defendant’s due process rights and are intended to protect against the kind of legal abuses that the American colonists faced under British rule.

The Sixth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights and was introduced on Sept. 5, 1789. It became law on Dec. 15, 1791, when nine of the 12 current states voted in its favor.