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Christmas in 1776: George Washington

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Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

15 December 1791

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The Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights of criminal defendants, including the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to a lawyer, the right to an impartial jury, and the right to know who your accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence against you. It has been most visibly tested in a series of cases involving terrorism, but much more often figures in cases that involve (for example) jury selection or the protection of witnesses, including victims of sex crimes as well as witnesses in need of protection from retaliation. [Cornell]

Amendment VI

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.