Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy Our Constitutional Rights

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Jul 12, 2012 - Law - 176 pages
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When an individual is accused of a crime he is provided, at least in theory, with numerous constitutional rights throughout the legal process. These constitutional rights, however, are soft and flexible, and are subject to a tremendous amount of manipulation by police, prosecutors, and judges. The result is that these government agents are easily able to bypass, and in fact destroy, our constitutional protections.

This abuse of our fundamental rights is extremely dangerous. Far from being mere technicalities, constitutional rights benefit all citizens, not just the factually guilty, in ways that go unappreciated by most of us. In today’s hyper-vigilant, tough-on-crime climate, many good people from all walks of life find themselves charged with serious crimes for behaving in ways that most of us would be shocked to learn are criminal. For these reasons, it is in all of our interests to ensure strong constitutional safeguards for everyone.

Tried and Convicted explains several individual constitutional rights that are intended to protect us from the vagaries of the criminal justice system, and gives detailed examples of how government agents routinely circumvent those rights. It also exposes the underlying problems that enable government agents to circumvent the constitution, and concludes by offering potential solutions to these problems. Using real life examples throughout, Cicchini provides a wake-up call for all of us.

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1 How the Hell Did I Wind Up Here?
2 The Nature of Constitutional Rights
3 How Can You Defend Those People?
4 SelfIncrimination
5 Privacy
6 Confrontation
7 Taking a Step Back
8 You Have the Right to a Speedy Trial
11 Prosecutor Misconduct and the Harmless Error
12 Plea Bargaining
13 Sentencing
14 You Have the Right to the Effective Assistance of Counsel
15 Moving Forward
Further Reading
About the Author

9 A Fair and Impartial Jury of Your Peers?
10 Judicial Bias

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About the author (2012)

Michael D. Cicchini, J.D., is a criminal defense lawyer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Based on his numerous trial wins in felony cases, he has been named among “The Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in Wisconsin by The National Trial Lawyers, and among “The Top Young Lawyers” in Wisconsin by Super Lawyers and Milwaukee Magazine. Cicchini is a coauthor of But They Didn’t Read Me My Rights! Myths, Oddities, and Lies About Our Legal System, and the author of numerous articles on criminal and constitutional law. He also founded The Legal Watchdog blog where he writes on legal and other topics. More information, including the full text of his articles and a link to The Legal Watchdog blog, can be found at

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