Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Sixth Amendment

On This Day:  You have a right to an attorney

March 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was on this day in 1963 that the Supreme Court handed down the Gideon decision, which guaranteed the rights of the accused to have a public defender in court.

Supreme Court rules for defendant in capital murder plea case

May 14, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

On Monday, a divided Supreme Court said a court in a Louisiana murder case couldn’t accept a lawyer’s admission of his own client’s guilt over his client’s objections.

The Cohen case and attorney-client privilege

April 13, 2018 By Ugonna Eze

The recent raid on the office of Michael Cohen, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers, has raised a number of questions on attorney-client privilege and the circumstances under which the privilege can be overcome. 

Can a lawyer admit guilt in a murder case over a client’s objections?

January 16, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

In Supreme Court arguments on Wednesday, the nine Justices will tackle a Sixth Amendment question about the proper role of attorneys in capital murder cases when a lawyer admits guilt over his client’s objections.

The Miranda warning is created 52 years ago today

June 13, 2017 By NCC Staff

It was 52 years ago today that the phrase “Miranda warning” was born, after the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case about the Fifth Amendment

Race bias in the jury room: what’s the solution?

October 14, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

Lyle Denniston, Constitution Daily's Supreme Court correspondent, looks at a Supreme Court case about racial bias expressed within the secret confines of a jury deliberation.

The Supreme Court sends mixed signal on Hurst ruling’s meaning

August 10, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

On Monday, the Supreme Court turned aside a plea to require jurors to satisfy the toughest legal test before they may vote to impose the death penalty, rejecting a new attempt by lawyers to further define an important Sixth Amendment ruling.

Can only a jury impose the death penalty?

August 3, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

Reading a Supreme Court ruling of last January in a widely expansive way, a divided Delaware Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down that state’s death penalty law. It ruled that the Supreme Court’s most recent ruling on death sentencing requires that the ultimate choice of life or death can only be made by a jury, not a judge.

Constitution Check: Will the right of the poor to a defense lawyer be expanded?

May 26, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, looks at the Sixth Amendment issue of a right to counsel and the ability of public defenders to mount effective cases.

Supreme Court overrules Florida death penalty sentencing scheme

January 12, 2016 By NCC Staff

In an 8-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled against Florida’s capital punishment scheme, which says that judges have the power to determine facts in death penalty cases.

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