Importance of the Fifth Amendment Essay

Pages: 3 (823 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: American History

Fifth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, protects against unreasonable search and seizure. The Fifth Amendment gives one the right not to be held to answer for a crime unless presented with an indictment. This means, among other things, that a person has against self-incrimination and against double jeopardy. This paper will analyze these two amendments and their importance in the protection of Americans' civil rights. The two amendments form the cornerstone of protection against government abuse in the judicial system, and both relate back to pre-independence rulings in Britain that built the foundations of those protections.

Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment derives from an 18th century English court case that was settled prior to independence, in 1775. The amendment grants "the right of the people to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches and seizures…but upon probable cause." The use of warrant is required along with probable cause and the warrant must be detailed with respect to the place, person or things that are allowed to be searched (Hornberger, 2005).

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The Fourth Amendment is important because prior to the landmark English case, government was able to conduct searches and seizures against citizens with impunity. This lead to egregious abuses of power by government with respect to the execution of warrants and the confiscation of property. For citizens, the ability to go about one's business without fear of baseless search and seizure is an important right. It provides an atmosphere in which business can be conducted freely and in which ideas and thoughts can be gathered and disseminated to the extent that they do not constitute criminal activity. In that respect, the Fourth Amendment relates somewhat to the First Amendment. More importantly, the freedom that the Fourth Amendment grants allows people to live without undue fear of government intrusion on their lives, something that the citizens of many nations do not have.

Fifth Amendment

Essay on Importance of the Fifth Amendment Assignment

The Fifth Amendment offers Americans several freedoms. The most famous of these is the right against self-incrimination, where Americans may not be compelled to offer testimony that would allow themselves to be viewed as guilty of a crime. From a procedural point-of-view, the concept is simple -- the person in question will need to answer for any alleged crimes on the basis of an indictment on their person, rather than the indictment of somebody else. The Fifth Amendment also grants the right to a grand jury, who determine if the defendant should be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Importance of the Fifth Amendment" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Importance of the Fifth Amendment.  (2011, May 2).  Retrieved October 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Importance of the Fifth Amendment."  2 May 2011.  Web.  29 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Importance of the Fifth Amendment."  May 2, 2011.  Accessed October 29, 2020.