Segments in this Video

Constitutional Amendments (03:50)


No subject has tested the limits of the United States Constitution as much as criminal justice. This episode will examine principles established by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments.

Hypothetical Violent Crime (07:30)

Charles Nesson describes a case in which the defendant raped and mutilated a nun. Attorneys express disdain for defending someone who has committed such a heinous crime; Judge Eugene Pincham is disturbed by the presumption of guilt. Defendants deserve a competent defense regardless of guilt.

Lying on the Witness Stand (03:58)

The defendant is guilty and insists on testifying. He asks for help hiding evidence. Panelists discuss one of the toughest scenarios criminal lawyers face.

Examining the Arrest, Presumption of Innocence (05:24)

Panelists discuss aspects of the arrest during which police find an incriminating shrine and the defendant confesses. Charles Peruto, Neal and Jeanne Baker discuss the ethics of freeing guilty clients, the presumption of innocence, and constitutional protections.

Problems for the Prosecution (07:26)

Mario Merola, Samuel K. Skinner, and Rena K. Uviller examine problematic aspects of the arrest. Uviller and Pincham agree that statements given without a Miranda warning should be suppressed; Ed Koch disagrees.

Police Misconduct (03:15)

Former police commissioners Frank Rizzo and Benjamin Ward discuss police misconduct and the release of defendants on a technicality. Skinner says mistakes routinely happen that lead to acquittals and the suppression of evidence.

News Coverage and Pretrial Publicity (09:24)

Dan Rather, Michael Gartner, and Max Frankel discuss strategies for covering the trial. Pincham and Peruto debate the need for secret judicial proceedings and problems finding unbiased jurors.

Fourth Amendment (01:32)

This amendment is part of the Bill of Rights and protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Judicial precedent states that evidence obtained in a way that violates the amendment should not be introduced at trial.

Do Exclusionary Rules Make Sense? (10:28)

Koch, Merola, and FBI Director William Webster decry the mechanical application of exclusionary rules. William Raspberry does believe they make sense in the scenario. Pincham elaborates on the merits of Miranda warnings.

Public Perception (03:40)

Perception is often that exclusionary rules free criminals at the expense of victims. Justice Stewart alludes to the Supreme Court’s 1914 ruling on Weeks v. United States, excluding illegally gained evidence to remedy Fourth Amendment violations. The Court created an exception to the exclusionary rule in 1984.

Credits: Criminal Justice and a Defendant's Right to a Fair Trial (00:50)

Credits: Criminal Justice and a Defendant's Right to a Fair Trial

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Criminal Justice and a Defendant's Right to a Fair Trial

Part of the Series : Constitution: That Delicate Balance
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Should a lawyer defend a guilty person? This and other questions are debated by Bronx district attorney Mario Merola, former New York mayor Edward Koch, CBS News anchor Dan Rather, and others.

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL160413

Copyright date: ©1984

Closed Captioned

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