What do you think are the most important limitations that the Constitution places on criminal law? 

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The elements of the Constitution that deal with the right to a fair trial are most often brought up by defense lawyers, and are most carefully guarded by arresting officers, from the Miranda statement to the reminder that the accused does not have to prove his innocence, to the various safeguards against “fruit of the rotten tree” (the non-admission of evidence illegally gathered), to the spousal exclusion of witnesses called upon by the prosecution, the entire Judicial system is constructed according the Constitutional law that sought to repair all the injustices of the European courts – cruel and unusual punishment, habeas corpus, trials in the absence of the accused, etc.  Today’s courts are a direct response to those excesses that drove America to its Revolution.  Whether “limitations” is the right word is debatable; “safeguards” might be better. 


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