Do You Know the Bill of Rights?

In 1787, America had earned its independence but did not have a government. During the hotly contested Constitutional Convention, the anti-Federalists were adamant that a Bill of Rights be introduced and memorialized in the Constitution. Opponents of the addition of a Bill of Rights believed that individual liberty was already preserved adequately by way of the separation of powers. In the view of the Federalists, the Constitution was a document created to limit the federal government's powers, not to list rights of the people that were already theirs by right from God. The anti-Federalists won out and the Bill of Rights was introduced, making up the first ten amendments to the Constitution. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to James Madison during in 1787, "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth." 

As a criminal defense firm, we especially love the fact that 40% of the Bill of Rights pertain to criminal defense and the rights of the accused and incarcerated. It makes one wonder how the justice system used to work and still does in other parts of the world. 

Do you know your rights?

Steve McGuckin

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