Sixth Amendment: Right to Counsel (1791)

This amendment echoes the language of Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, providing a jury trial for all criminal cases. Jury trials must be speedy and open to the public, including the press, though not necessarily to television cameras. Defendants have the right to be told what they are charged with, and to a lawyer to assist them in their defense. Once the trial begins, it must take place in the area where the alleged crime was committed. Defendants have the right to cross-examine people who testify against them, and to subpoena witnesses to testify on their behalf. These protections are part of the due process rights protected by the Fifth Amendment.

Landmark Supreme Court cases involving the right to counsel include Gideon v. Wainwright (1963).