Safeguarding the rights of accused of crime during emergencies like Covid19 pandemic
All locations of the Court are generally physically closed to the public during the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, endangering the liberty of the accused of crime. As courthouses will be open for limited purposes such as jury selection and the conduct of some trials, as well as additional purposes as may be indicated in the Court’s emergency Local Rules, the delay in hearing could cause loss of liberty to the many accused
Fair Trial Right under the U.S. Constitution
The courts should ensure that in cases going to trial, there is a full, unhindered, continuously serving jury venire and seated jury in every case, which is central to the sound administration of justice.
The U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights (under the Sixth Amendment) guarantees the right to a speedy trial with an impartial jury for criminal defendants in federal courts.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
The restrictions are necessary
The compelling public health and safety issues have forced courts to take measures that ensures the ends of justice served by taking such action materially outweigh the best interests of the public and the parties in a speedy trial. The measures are necessary to avoid spread of pandemic by reducing physical contact. These measures were also necessary in order to address the reasonably anticipated difficulties in defense counsel communicating or visiting with clients (including those detained in locales and facilities under a declared state of emergency).
Safeguarding against loss of liberty
All criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, the courts have a duty to ensure that the rights of defendants are met. To ensure these rights are met, courts frame rules specifying mode and time periods for holding certain hearings. However, a delay in defendant’s constitutional rights cannot be fully avoided.
What has been done during Covid19 pandemic to safeguard these rights?
The courts have taken several steps to deliver justice during this period. Some of the measure taken are:
- Virtual Court Hearings – use video conferencing and when not available telephonic when video conferencing is not available under a various criminal case events.
- Waiving certain appearance requirements
- Extending filing or hearing deadlines and delaying the start of trial in certain cases
Contact a criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are defended
An experienced criminal defence attorney shall protect your rights and can help you staying out of jail or get you out of it. For years Joel Silberman served as an Assistant Prosecutor with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. During this time Joel litigated hundreds of felony and juvenile cases and appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division on multiple occasions. He will give you best representation to protect your constitutional rights.
Around the Clock Representation
Call (201)-420-1913 for a free consultation immediately and highly qualified and devoted legal representation. Law enforcement never rests and neither do we. Immediately after retaining Joel Silberman you will receive a 24/7 dedicated line to contact him on.