Fifth and Sixth Amendments

  1. What was the old standard for the admissibility of confessions and admissions? Explain why that standard was difficult to apply.
  2. How did Miranda v. Arizona change the standard for admissibility of confessions and admissions? In your opinion, is it a change for the better? Explain your answer.
  3. Assume that the state legislature of Kansas passes a law providing that confessions are admissible in state court criminal cases as long as they are voluntary, even without the Miranda warnings. Is that law constitutional? Cite a case precedent and reasons for your answer.
  4. Distinguish between the Miranda warnings and the right to counsel. In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different?
  5. Assume that the Nebraska legislature passes a law providing that all crimes in Nebraska are to be tried by a six-member jury. Assume further that the same law also provides that a 5-to-1 vote for conviction results in conviction. Is that law constitutional? Explain your answer.
  6. There are two kinds of challenges the prosecutor and the defense lawyer can use when selecting a jury. How do these challenges differ? Which challenge is bad for the defendant and why?
  7. X, a man accused of rape, was tried and convicted by a jury made up of all women. Was his constitutional right to trial by a jury of peers violated? Justify your answer.
  8. A college criminal justice student is charged with selling drugs in a dormitory. Such a crime is a felony in the state. She has taken a few college courses in law and has some knowledge of criminal procedure and constitutional rights. Can she waive her right to a lawyer and insist on defending herself?

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