Monday, August 26, 2019

Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966) & Williams v. Florida 399 Assignment

Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966) & Williams v. Florida 399 U.S. 78 - Assignment Example The unprecedented penetration of contemporary communications and the extreme difficulty associated with obliterating prejudicial publicity from the perception of the jury, necessitate the trial courts to adopt stringent measures to prevent a bias against the accused. The US Supreme Court found that the accused had been denied due process and reversed his conviction. With regard to the balance to be maintained between the First and Sixth Amendment rights, the Court held that collaboration between the press and counsel, regarding information influencing the fairness of the trial was subject to regulation, and was extremely censurable and merited disciplinary measures. The US Supreme Court decried the absence of decorum in the trial court, and the free reign given to the press during the hearing. The prejudicial posturing of the press had biased the jury, which declared the accused guilty, on the basis of the adverse publicity promoted by the press and not the evidence. In Williams v Florida, the prosecution admitted the deposition of an alibi witness to establish the guilt of the accused. The latter was convicted, and the conviction was upheld by the appellate court. At the US Supreme Court, Williams contended that his Fifth Amendment rights had been breached, as the evidence of the alibi witness had been utilized for convicting him. He also contended that his Sixth Amendment rights were violated, as the denial of a 12-man jury had deprived him of his right to trial by jury. (U.S. Supreme Court, Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970), 1970). In this case, the US Supreme Court set aside precedent and legal tradition and declared the 12-man jury to be the perpetuation of a traditional idiosyncrasy. Accordingly, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the six-man jury, and held the 12-man jury to be its operational counterpart. The US Supreme Court held that the Florida criminal procedure did not force petitioners to provide courts

No comments:

Post a Comment