The Fifth Amendment that was adopted on December 15, 1791, is a section in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution that secures the citizens of the United States from being forced to witness against themselves when they are accused of a crime, being judged twice for the same offense, and being deprived of life, property, or liberty without due process. In case the government still takes someone’s property, this person should receive compensation for it. Moreover, any person accused of a felony should be indicted exclusively by a Grand Jury and, on this basis, taken to Federal Court.
The adoption of the Fifth Amendment was a turning point in the history of the US legal system. It aims at protecting people from the arbitrariness of the government and police. More than that, it establishes equal justice for all people. Nowadays, due to the Fifth Amendment, one cannot be arrested without proper evidence or sent to prison for the same crime multiple times. Besides, a person accused of a crime cannot make their position worse by their own words.
The adoption of the Fifth Amendment and its implementation has changed people’s attitudes towards the US system of justice. Before its enactment, most people were afraid that the police would accuse them of any crime and, without any evidence and trial, send to prison. However, the section added to the Bill of Rights in 1791 demonstrated that a person’s life, freedom, and reputation were the highest values, and neither the police nor government had the right to deprive people of them without legitimate reasons.
Every person should know their rights and freedoms to protect themselves. In case one is unreasonably accused of a felony, the knowledge of the main points of the Fifth Amendment will help them to advocate their innocence, protect their freedom and property, and vindicate reputation.
The Fifth Amendment includes five main points:
Only being indicted by a Grand Jury once, a person can be taken to court.
No person can be punished for the same crime twice.
Three things cannot be taken from a person by the government: life, liberty, and property.
A person should not tell the police and court even four words against themselves.
Five things confiscated – five things compensated.