1. to have an opinion an express it

1.      The
Bill of Rights are adjustments done to the constitution as approved in its
fifth article. They are what we simply call the amendments. Although there are
more than ten amendments, the firsts ten were approved all together and thus
called the Bill of Rights and now includes the fourteenth amendment. The
amendments establish limits on the government’s power. Back then it was argued
that a bill of rights was needed to protect the rights of people. The first
amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and
to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The first part of this
which is the freedom of religion and exercise thereof means that a person has
the right to have whatever religious beliefs they want and exercise it
therefore having the right to attend services like going to church, wearing
religious clothing, praying publicly or privately and proselytizing or just
don’t have any religious beliefs at all, and not participate in any religious
activities. Abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press basically mean that
people have the right to have an opinion an express it even if other people
don’t agree with them. It not only includes written and spoken word, but it
also includes freedom of speech in the form of arts, pictures, ads, radio, tv,
internet and pretty much anywhere. This is as long as it is not a threat to
other people, that provoke violence, or false statements that may affect
someone else’s reputation. It also puts regulations to protests in terms of
time and place because of noise related issues, and public safety. The first
amendment also gives the right to people to file law suits against the
government, that’s what it means when it talks about petitioning the government
for a redress of grievances. The second amendment pertains to the right to bear
arms “as necessary for the security of a free state.” The third amendment
states that without permission from owners, soldiers don’t have the right to
reside in private homes, nor in time of war except in a way that follow the
law. The fourth amendment is the one that we know more of. It is to protect
people from unreasonable searches and seizures. It states that no warrants
shall be issued unless there is probable cause and it describes the person or
things to be seized as well as the place to be searched. There are times where
warrants for search and seizure are not required or illegal. For example, if
the owner or person agrees to the search, if they are in plain view or open
fields. The fifth amendment is a bit more complex. It holds that a person can’t
be held to answer for a crime unless they are first indicted by a grand jury.
That a person can’t be tried for the same crime twice if they have already been
convicted and served their time, or if they have been acquitted. That a person
has the right to not testify against themselves / incriminate themselves. That
the government cannot deprive you of your life, liberty of process without
following protocol or following guidelines that would guarantee someone due
process. Lastly private property cannot be taken away for public use without
compensation for it. The sixth amendment gives citizens the right to a speedy and
public trial with an impartial jury, in the state and district where the crime
was committed. It gives the right for the person to be informed of the nature
and cause of their accusation. It gives people the right to confront the
witnesses against them and as well have their own witnesses for their defense.
It also guarantees them the right to have assistance from counsel. The seventh
amendment is explained as “the right to a jury trial to federal civil cases
such as car accidents, disputes between corporations for breach of contract, or
most discrimination or employment disputes. In civil cases, the person bringing
the lawsuit (the plaintiff) seeks money damages or a court order preventing the
person being sued (the defendant) from engaging in certain conduct. To win, the
plaintiff must prove his or her case by “a preponderance of the evidence,” that
is by over fifty percent of the proof.” 
The eight amendment pertains to excessive bail and cruel and unusual
punishments. It states that the accused should not require an excessive bail.
Bail is determined by how much money the accused has and the probability if
them fleeing. If they don’t have the means to post bail and are involved in the
community enough for them to not flee then bail may be set low or even ROR.
Other cases where a defendant may not have the means to post bail but is a
flight risk and the crime is something like murder then the bail may be set
high because there’s a probability that they will flee because of the nature of
the crime. For cruel and unusual punishments means that the punishment or
sentence should be appropriate for the crime the defendant committed. The ninth
amendment is much shorter and basically means that the government can’t deny or
disparage other rights just because they are not listed. The tenth amendment means
that the federal government has certain powers while the state has others, but
they also share powers. Meaning that powers not given to the federal government
not prohibited by the constitution are then given to the state.  Federal powers include regulating interstate
commerce, postal offices, the military and copyright laws. State powers include
traffic laws, marriage laws, the issuing of driving licenses, regulation of
state commerce and business. The powers they share are things like collecting
taxes, courts, creating and enforcing laws, and general welfare. The fourteenth
amendment has two sections. The first section establishes that any person born
in the U.S is a citizen of the United States and of the state they live in. The
second states that all citizens have equal protection and should be given due
process of law.

2.      Before
the Bill of Rights was created, antifederalists were demanding a bill of rights
to safeguard to rights and liberty of the people, arguing that the constitution
needed limits on the federal government concerning their power over the people.
They asked for a bill of rights that would protect citizens rights and liberty.
Back then James Madison read through the constitution, wrote changes where he
thought were needed. He came up with more than ten changes to it but at the end
only ten amendments were approved. This is how the Bill of Rights came to be.
It limits the power of the government by protecting the citizen’s rights.

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3.      There
are different things that happen when someone breaks the law. When someone
breaks the law, depending on the case there is an investigation before the
person is arrested. For example, in a drug smuggling case like the ones we see
here in the Imperial Valley. Where someone may be trying to smuggle drugs to
another city and is sent to secondary inspection when they are in a border
patrol check point. In this case the police dog alerted to drugs in the car, so
the car was searched, and officers find drugs packed inside the car’s spare
tire. In this case the suspect is arrested and taken into custody. When the
suspect is arrested it is not legally mandatory to red them their Miranda
rights but it’s best just so the arrested knows their rights. Once the person
is arrested and taken to a holding cell they may be questioned, but not before
being read their rights. That is when it is necessary to read the suspect their
rights, then the suspect can decide if they want to give a statement or ask for
a lawyer. The suspect is taken to jail where they are booked and later taken to
court for their initial appearance. In the initial appearance the suspect is
informed of the charges and advised of their right to counsel or be assigned
one, and the bail is set. Then another hearing is set. The preliminary hearing
where the judge decides if there is enough evidence to charge the defendant, if
there is then there will be another court date set. It is called arraignment
and it’s where the defendant enters a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.
If the defendant pleads guilty a date is set for sentencing. If they plead no
guilty, then it is taken to trial.

4.      Law
Enforcement much more than just incarcerate people. Law enforcement includes
not only our local police departments. It goes from local police departments to
sheriff, highway patrol, corrections, Customs and Border patrol, immigration,
the coast guard, secret service, DEA, U.S Marshalls, the FBI. It even includes
the department of energy and the department of education, the FDA and
department of commerce. For example, police officers’ not only controlling
crime, but it also includes maintaining order. From patrolling neighborhoods to
bring a sense of security to people to reestablish order in disorderly circumstances,
intervening in disputes. From unlocking locked cars to working in traffic control,
traffic accidents and rescuing people.

5.      The
Court System is divided into two court system, they consist of different court
levels. From lower to higher it is the Superior Court, Circuit courts,
Appellate courts and then the Supreme court. 
At the state level the Superior Court is in charge of civil cases like
family law, juvenile, probate court. It handles small claims and appeals,
infractions like traffic, misdemeanors. Next is the Court of Appeals or
Appellate Court. This court reviews the decision of the lower court and
depending on how the case was handled either upholds or reverses the decision.
It determines whether there was an error during trial that might have affected
the outcome. This is where people that lost a trial take their case for review.
The court checks for any errors or mistakes the superior court might have been
made that could have affected the trial. Next is the state’s Supreme Court, it
is the highest court. It reviews the decisions made by the Appellate Court. It
reviews issues from a case or may review the entire case. It also reviews all
cases that involve the death penalty. At the federal level there is the
District Courts, the Court of Appeals and the U.S Supreme Court. The lower one
which is the District court holds the trials and handles federal civil and
criminal cases. The Appellate court like in the state level handles appeals
from the circuit courts. Lastly, the U.S Supreme court which is the biggest of
all chooses which cases to handle whether from federal or state court.

6.      The
Corrections system includes federal prisons, state prison and county jails. It
also includes community based programs like probation and parole. At the
federal level correctional institutions house convicted prisoners. State
prisons do too and county jails house more than that. They house people
awaiting trial, people awaiting sentencing, people waiting to be transferred to
other state or federal institutions. People convicted of lower crimes or
ordinance violations are also housed in county jails. Community based programs
like parole and probation are also part of the corrections system. Both the
parole program and probation are alternatives to incarceration but are
different. Probation releases a person back into the community instead of
incarcerating them. When a person is placed on probation they are given rules
to follow like curfew rules, rehab programs and drug testing.  They are assigned a probation officer that
supervises their progress. Parole is like probation in the sense that the
offender is released into the community but is different because parole is to
release people early from prison. There is also a process to apply for parole
and if granted the offender has to follow much stricter rules that those in
probation and a parole officer is to supervise them as well. In both cases when
the defendant is not complying with the rules they may get sent back to prison.

7.      Perception
of safety the way we see safety and it is different for everyone. People perceive
things in different ways. The way we perceive something based on what we see,
hear, smell, touch, and taste. It’s the way we understand something. What one
person may see as safe the next person may see it as dangerous and that is
their perception. That could be based on personal past experiences. For example,
someone may think that a certain neighborhood is safe because of their past
experiences with it, whether they live there or visit it several times. They
may think it’s safe because nothing bad has happened to them, they haven’t had
any negative experiences and that’s their perception, but it may be different
for someone else. Another person may perceive that same neighborhood as
dangerous and try to avoid it. That can be because they may have had a scary or
bad experience like being robbed or followed and thus their perception of that
neighborhood changes and it’s now a dangerous one.

8.      The
fourth amendment is important because it prevents the government from taking
advantage of citizens. It prevents the government from barging into you or your
effects seizing your belongings or placing you under arrest just because they
want to. It does not mean that the government can’t search or seize your or
your effects. It means that there are steps that need to be followed and
probable cause not just because they want to. Although it has its exceptions
where warrants are not really needed, without this amendment or right, any
government / law enforcement officer could just come and search your house,
search it and place you under arrest, maybe just because they don’t like you.
It protects people from government officials acting with malice. Most
importantly it brings consequences when this amendment is violated. It makes
evidence illegally obtained inadmissible in court thus it makes officers follow
protocol and do searches legally.

9.      The
fifth and sixth amendments deal with due process, the right to counsel, the
right to not be forced to be a witness against oneself, and the right to a
speedy and public trial. Both amendments complement each other because they
define how trials should go. In the fifth amendment we see that we cannot be
held to answer for a crime without an indictment of a grand jury, much less be obliged
to be a witness against ourselves. It protects from double jeopardy or from
being prosecuted again for the same offense. Then the sixth amendment blends
right in with the fifth because it grants the defendant a public and speedy
trial with unbiased jury and in the place/ district where the crime was
committed. It grants people the right to know what they are being accused of
and the right to confront the witnesses against them as well as being able to
bring our own witnesses and have assistance of counsel. While the fifth
amendment also talks about how military cases go and talks about private
property. The sixth amendment supplements the fifth because together they make due
process and define how trial/ court process should go so that people’s right is
are violated.

10.  When
someone appeals a court case the person is appealing the trial’s court decision.
The court’s decision is reviewed for error or mistakes. In the court of appeals
the court reviews how a trial went and its procedures to make sure everything
was done correctly. It looks to see that the law was applies correctly and that
the trial was fair. When a case is appealed it’s because the petitioner is dissatisfied
with the outcome of the trial, because they feel it wasn’t fair, or mistake
were done on either side. One well-known case is Gideon v. Wainwright where the
defendant was denied counsel and had to represent himself and as a result lost
the case. Gideon was sentenced to five years in state prison. He appealed this
decision to the U.S Supreme Court on grounds that that his rights were violated
by denying him of counsel. The Supreme Court held that if the defendant wanted
counsel but couldn’t afford it he had the right to have one as it is essential
for a fair trial. That it was necessary for due process regardless of the type
of crime. The case was reversed and remanded. A new trial was held, he received
counsel and the trial ended up in acquittal.