“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”
—U.S. Constitution, Amendment VI
What is the Justice for All Act?
The Justice for All Act of 2004 (JFAA) was initially enacted to protect the rights of crime victims, eliminate the substantial backlog of DNA samples in crime laboratories, and expand DNA testing capacity. As progress has been made in these arenas, support was continued and expanded in 2016 when the JFAA was reauthorized (JFARA), expanding its role to support statewide planning and coordination and to support state, tribal and local efforts to protect the rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through the JFARA the U.S. Department of Justice provides Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) to state and local jurisdictions to strengthen and support the core rights and protections guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. These include the rights:
• To a speedy and public trial.
• To a representative and impartial jury.
• For the accused to have access to witnesses and evidence.
• To the effective assistance of counsel.
What kinds of TTA services can the Strengthening the Sixth Amendment Project provide? On-Demand Training and Technical Assistance (On-Demand TTA) and In-Depth Training and Technical Assistance (In-Depth TTA) are available to jurisdictions and organizations.
Features of On-Demand TTA
Features of In-Depth TTA
How do you apply for TTA support from the Strengthening the Sixth Project? Organizations and agencies interested in TTA support should apply here.
Who can apply for TTA support from the Strengthening the Sixth Amendment Project?
This project supports a broad array of criminal justice stakeholders including court administrators, defenders, judges, prosecutors, and communities across the United States. State and local criminal justice organizations and agencies are eligible for TTA. Urban, suburban, and rural communities are encouraged to apply, including those working with tribal governments such as tribal courts.
What are some examples of TTA support under the Strengthening the Sixth Project?
This project focuses on the rights protected by the Sixth Amendment, with an emphasis on the need for collaborative efforts to address systemic barriers to the effectuation of these protections.
Speedy Trial: Delays in criminal cases have significant and far-reaching impacts for the accused, victims, witnesses, and the community. Assuring the timely and fair disposition of cases requires balancing the need for expedient resolutions with other practical considerations like allowing adequate time to investigate, prepare, and present the case. Risks for delay can be prevented through system-wide examination and cooperation, developing collaborative solutions that engage the key partners with the staff and resources.
Impartial and Representative Jury: Community confidence in the jury trial process requires confidence that the jury reflects the community and is free from outside influences. Steps must be taken to ensure juries are representative of the diversity of the communities from which they are drawn, while also isolating jurors from undue, improper influences.
Present a Defense: Several of the protections of the Sixth Amendment collectively create the right to present a defense. This includes the right to be heard, to present witnesses and evidence, and to confront the witnesses against you. The fulfillment of this right requires a meaningful attorney-client relationship, the exchange of information through discovery, and prompt and effective case investigation.
|Examples of On-Demand TTA Services
•Assistance from Subject Matter Experts
•Custom Resource Materials
•Policy Development Support
•Webinars & Training
•Guided Strategic Planning
|Examples of In-Depth TTA Services
•Intensive System Evaluations
•Develop Collaborative Networks
•Develop & Support Pilot Projects
•Identify & Implement Best Practices
•Evaluation of Interventions
•Data Collection & Analysis
|APPLY FOR TTA HERE|
If your jurisdiction would like to address Sixth Amendment issues specifically related to video and remote court proceedings, please click here for more information.
For information on BJA and other TTA services, visit the BJA website's services page.