Government » American Civil Liberties and Rights » The Rights of Suspects

Summary and Main Ideas

Summary of The Rights Of Suspects

Practice Questions

  1. Explain why someone accused of a crime might negotiate a plea bargain rather than exercising the right to a trial by jury.
  2. Explain the difference between a criminal case and a civil case.

Sample Answer:

Someone accused of a crime may take a plea bargain because it reflects a clear path forward rather than the uncertainty of a trial. Typically plea bargains result in weaker punishments than does a court trial.


double jeopardy: a prosecution pursued twice at the same level of government for the same criminal action

economic liberty: the right of individuals to obtain, use, and trade things of value for their own benefit

eminent domain: the power of government to take or use property for a public purpose after compensating its owner; also known as the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment

Miranda warning: a statement by law enforcement officers informing a person arrested or subject to interrogation of his or her rights

plea bargain: an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor in which the defendant pleads guilty to the charge(s) in question or perhaps to less serious charges, in exchange for more lenient punishment than if convicted after a full trial

self-incrimination: an action or statement that admits guilt or responsibility for a crime

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