Fair Trial Rights of the Accused: A Documentary History

Fair Trial Rights of the Accused: A Documentary History

Fair Trial Rights of the Accused: A Documentary History

Fair Trial Rights of the Accused: A Documentary History


Use this collection of over 60 primary documents to trace the evolution of trial rights from English and colonial beginnings to our contemporary understanding of their meaning. Court cases and other documents bring to life the controversies that have historically surrounded the rights of those who have been accused in the American legal system. Explanatory introductions to documents aid users in understanding the various arguments put forth and the context in which the document was written, while illuminating the significance of each document.


This series is designed to meet the research needs of high school and college students by making available in one volume the key primary documents on a given historical event or contemporary issue. Documents include speeches and letters, congressional testimony, Supreme Court and lower court decisions, government reports, biographical accounts, position papers, statutes, and news stories.

The purpose of the series is twofold: (1) to provide substantive and background material on an event or issue through the texts of pivotal primary documents that shaped policy or law, raised controversy, or influenced the course of events, and (2) to trace the controversial aspects of the event or issue through documents that represent a variety of viewpoints. Documents for each volume have been selected by a recognized specialist in that subject with the advice of a board of other subject specialists, school librarians, and teachers.

To place the subject in historical perspective, the volume editor has prepared an introductory overview and a chronology of events. Documents are organized either chronologically or topically. The documents are full text or, if unusually long, have been excerpted by the volume editor. To facilitate understanding, each document is accompanied by an explanatory introduction. A selected bibliography of related sources appears at the end of this volume.

It is the hope of Greenwood Press that this series will enable students and other readers to use primary documents more easily in their research, to exercise critical thinking skills by examining the key documents in American history and public policy, and to critique the variety of viewpoints represented by this selection of documents.

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