1. In Duncan v. Louisiana (1968), the defendant was charged with and found guilty of simple battery without a jury trial as Louisiana law stated that it was a misdemeanor and punishable by less than 2 years of imprisonment. At issue was whether Duncan’s 6th Amendment right to an impartial jury was violated by the state of Louisiana. This case is an example of selective incorporation, which is a constitutional doctrine that ensures that states cannot enact laws that take away the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens guaranteed to them by the Bill of Rights.
In your main post:
- Summarize the various tests for determining which rights are incorporated and applied to the states.
- Explain whether all content in the Bill of Rights is fundamental and should be automatically incorporated.
- Discuss why the Bill of Rights would be drafted as it is, if those rights were not fundamental.
2. In Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968), the U.S. Supreme Court held that jurors cannot be removed merely because of general scruples against capital punishment, adding that a juror may be excluded “for cause” if it is “unmistakably clear” that he or she would automatically vote against the death penalty if sought by the prosecutor or if the juror could not be impartial in the determination of the defendant’s guilt. This holding was affirmed in Lockhart v. McCree (1986).
In your main post:
- Compare the similarities and differences between Witherspoon v. Illinois and Lockhart v. McCree cases.
- Explain the effects of the rulings of Witherspoon and Lockhart rulings.
The competency addressed in this discussion is supported by discussion objectives, as follows:
- Competency 3: Apply the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments in a criminal justice context.
- Compare the similarities and differences between Witherspoon v. Illinois and Lockhart v. McCree.
- Explain the effects of the rulings of Witherspoon and Lockhart.