Founding Fathers Quotes on Criminal Justice and the Right to Counsel in the Sixth Amendment

You're free to republish or share any of our articles (either in part or in full), which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Our only requirement is that you give Ammo.com appropriate credit by linking to the original article. Spread the word; knowledge is power!

Founding Fathers Quotes on Criminal Justice and the Right to Counsel in the Sixth Amendment“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Many Americans are familiar with the Sixth Amendment through police television shows. “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you by the court.” Well, that right is guaranteed by the Sixth, another Amendment in the Bill of Rights largely informed by the experience of Americans with the British colonial government – England has no right to legal representation, even for those who can afford it.

Much like the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth exists to slow down the process of the justice system. This was thought to make it more thorough and deliberate. However, there’s a monkey wrench in the system: 90 to 95 percent of all cases are never brought to trial and are instead resolved through plea bargaining. This is because the system would be clogged up solid if every case were brought to trial. Still, this means 90 percent of all cases are not subject directly to this Amendment.

“Errors, or caprices of the temper, can be pardoned and forgotten; but a cold, deliberate crime of the heart...is not to be washed away.”

“Silence becomes a kind of crime when it operates as a cover or an encouragement to the guilty.” - Thomas Paine

“Silence becomes a kind of crime when it operates as a cover or an encouragement to the guilty.”

“Another apprehension is that a majority cannot be induced to adopt the trial by jury; and I consider that as the only anchor, ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

“That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to be held sacred.” - George Mason

“That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to be held sacred.”

George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, Article 11, June 12, 1776

“Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them, we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle, and fed and clothed like swine and hounds.”

“Trial by jury, the best of all safeguards for the person, the property, and the fame of every individual.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Trial by jury, the best of all safeguards for the person, the property, and the fame of every individual.”

“You seem...to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions – a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our Judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is, boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem, and their power the more dangerous, as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.”

Ammo.com's Resistance Library: Quotes: Founding Fathers

Founding Fathers Quotes: Our Favorite Quotes from America's Courageous Revolutionaries
Founding Fathers Quotes on Religious Freedom and the Separation Between Church & State
Founding Fathers Quotes on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press in the First Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on Guns and the Second Amendment's Right to Keep & Bear Arms
Founding Fathers Quotes on Standing Armies and Quartering Troops in the Third Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on Privacy, Search, and Seizures in the Fourth Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on Due Process and Eminent Domain in the Fifth Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on Criminal Justice and the Right to Counsel in the Sixth Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on Civil Lawsuits and Common Law in the Seventh Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on Excessive, Cruel or Unusual Punishment in the Eighth Amendment
Founding Fathers Quotes on the Dangers of Centralized Power in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments
Founding Fathers Quotes on the Importance of Physical Health and Exercise
Founding Fathers Quotes on How Central Banking is Destructive to America's Economic System
Founding Fathers Quotes on the Importance of Wisdom and Education in a Free Society
Founding Fathers Quotes on the Limited Executive Powers of the United States Presidency
Founding Fathers Quotes on Why America's Revolutionaries Fought For Liberty and Freedom
Founding Fathers Quotes on Justice For All and Equal Treatment Under the Law
Founding Fathers Quotes on Hope for Peace, Hesitation for War & Restrictions for Military
Founding Fathers Quotes on Family, Friends, and Seeking Wisdom Through Relationships
Founding Fathers Quotes on Politics, Patriotism, and the Importance of Putting America First
Founding Fathers Quotes on the American Revolution and the Fighting Spirit for Independence
Founding Fathers Quotes on Government, Democracy, and Placing Power in the People
Founding Fathers Quotes on the Founding of the Nation and the United States Constitution

Popular Ammo Calibers & Brands