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An Overview of the 5th Amendment

5th Amendment

Fifth Amendment: Protection against abuse of government authority

What is the Fifth Amendment?

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

The Fifth Amendment Defined:

The Fifth Amendment stems from English Common Law and traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215.

The Fifth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution and the framework to elucidate upon the freedoms of the individual. The Bill of Rights were proposed and sent to the states by the first session of the First Congress. They were later ratified on December 15, 1791.

The first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution were introduced by James Madison as a series of legislative articles and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments following the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States on December 15, 1791.

Stipulations of the 5th Amendment:

The Fifth Amendment is asserted in any proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, judicial, investigatory, or adjudicatory. The Fifth Amendment protects against all disclosures where the witness reasonably believes the evidence can be used in a criminal prosecution and can lead to the spawning of other evidence that might be used against the individual.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees an American individual the right to trial by Grand Jury for specific crimes, the right not to be tried and subsequently punished more than once for the same crime, the right to be tried with only due process of the law and the right to be awarded fair compensation for any property seized by the government for public use.

The Fifth Amendment also guarantees the individual the right to refrain from self-incrimination by “pleading the fifth” to any questions or inquiries that may give way to an additional punishment or the notion of a guilty plea.

State Timeline for Ratification of the Bill of Rights

New Jersey:November 20, 1789; rejected article II

Maryland:December 19, 1789; approved all

North Carolina:December 22, 1789; approved all

South Carolina: January 19, 1790; approved all

New Hampshire: January 25, 1790; rejected article II

Delaware: January 28, 1790; rejected article I

New York: February 27, 1790; rejected article II

Pennsylvania: March 10, 1790; rejected article II

Rhode Island: June 7, 1790; rejected article II

Vermont: November 3, 1791; approved all

Virginia: December 15, 1791; approved all

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