Constitutional Right To Due Process

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In the United States of America, every citizen has the constitutional right to due process. Within due process, the accused have the opportunity to be tried by a jury of their peers to determine whether or not they are in fact is guilty of the crime they are being charged with. Last year in the state of Florida, there were a total of 2,831,304 complaints filed to both circuit and county courthouses (Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator). So does that mean that all those people went to trial? If they did, that would mean that on average, there were 7,756 trials being conducted daily all across the state, and that’s also assuming that those judges, clerks, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and court employees all worked 365 days of…show more content…
On November 23, 2015, two men were brought before Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis, and each received marginally different sentence. The first defendant had appeared at his arraignment, where he was read the charges brought against him. The charges included trespassing and criminal mischief, among several others that were dropped due to him agreeing to a guilty plea. Briefly before the judge walked into the courtroom, the defendant had a quick word with the public defender in order to understand what was about to occur and how to respond. Following the guilty plea, Judge Lewis made sure this decision wasn’t coerced by any means and clarified what rights the defendant would lose as a result. The entire process, from arraignment to sentencing, probably only took about five minutes. The latter, a rare occasion where a defendant chose to self-represent himself, had an entirely different outcome. At the sentencing, the judge once again had offered legal counsel, only to be refused by the defendant. He had been found guilty by the jury after deliberating for just under an hour. Charges included possession of cocaine, resisting arrest without violence, possessions of paraphernalia, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Added to the substantial evidence against him, the prosecutor referenced his prior criminal during the sentence, in an attempt to sway the judge to levy a harsher punishment. It’s possible to say that from the very beginning, the defendant was in a tough situation, and really squandered an opportunity to get a shorter sentence. During the sentencing, the defendant asked the judge to assert a punishment he deemed fitting for the circumstances of the crime, but also considerate enough where he had the opportunity to be with him family as soon as possible. There was

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