The sixth amendment to be replaced by my proposal is as follows:
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 defence.
All of the rights of the sixth amendment are readily derivable from the rights guaranteed in my proposal, except the right to a jury from the district in which the crime was committed and the right to compel witnesses. The accused must have a swift and speedy trial because to wait too long before a trial or to make a trial last an unnecesarily long amount of time is a violation of the accused’ right to liberty on whim (whereas imprisonment after a conviction is acceptable because the convict’s right to liberty would have been suspended or revoked as a consequence of a violation by the accused of the rights of another).
The jury which decides the case must be impartial because to try the accused with a partial jury would be equivalent to deciding the result of the trial as the jury is selected rather than by the jury’s reason after the objective processes of presenting evidence and arguments for and against the guilt of the accused. This would make the result of the trial, and thus the violation of the accused rights a whim of whomever selects the jury. Thus, in order for the accused rights to be preserved until such time as they may be rightfully revoked, the jury must be impartial.
As for the jury being from the district in which the crime was committed, this requirement has been otherwise rendered unnecessary by my proposal. It is necessary under the original system, because it was the states and districts which decided what the criminal laws were, such that it was possible for an act to be a crime in one district and not in another, which meant that the jury would have to be from the district in which the act is known to be crime so that they can be capable of comprehending the issues of the trial. Under my proposal, however, criminal law is determined by the federal governement and is therefore constant across all states and districts. An act which is a crime in Alabama is a crime in New York, and Alabamans can understand that as well as New Yorkers. Thus, under my proposal, if it is necessary to attain impartiality, then a jury can be selected from outside of the district in which the crime occurred.
The accused must be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations because such information is neccesary in order to establish and effectively argue a defense. If the prosecutor knew the accusation and had time to plan and strategize arguments for the guilt of the accused, but the accussed was kept in the dark about the nature of the accusations and thus was robbed of the ability to plan and strategize arguments for innocence, then the trial would be biased for the prosecution because the defense would be unprepared. Thus to deny the accused knowledge of the cause and accusations would be to attempt to violate the rights of the accused based upon whim.
The accused must be confronted with the witnesses against them, because there is no other means by which the accused can prepare any form of defense from the testimony of the witness. If the accussed were merely informed by transcript that a witness had provided testimony to the jury, then the accussed would be denied knowledge of how the testimony was presented in terms of tones and inflections which can provide crucial information regarding the intended meaning of words, and the accused would be denied the ability to question the witness. Thus to deny the accused the right to be confronted by witnesses, is to attempt to violate the rights of the accused based upon whim.
Under my proposal there is no right for the accused to be able to compel witnesses to appear in their defense, because such would be a violation of the rights of those witnesses. However this is balanced because the prosecution also cannot compel witnesses to appear, because such would be a violation of the rights of the witnesses.
The accused must have the right to counsel in the preparation and execution of a defence because it is unreasonable to assume that all citizens that should otherwise be engaged in their pursuits of happiness should all decide to memorize all of the laws, rules, an regulations of a trial process as well as mastering the art of persuasive argument all in preparation for someday possibly being accused of a crime. Since knowledge of the rules and regulations and persuasive skill contribute to an effective defense, to deny the accused the right to counsel is to attempt to violate the rights of the accused based upon whim.