Civics Today: Citizenship, Economics, & You, Alabama Edition

Chapter 15: Legal Rights and Responsibilities

Student Web Activity

"Your Legal Rights"

In this chapter you have read about the laws that govern our society. To be fully effective laws must be fair and must treat all people equally. When the U.S. Constitution was written some political leaders were concerned because a statement of rights was not included in the document. Shortly after the Constitution was ratified, the Bill of Rights was added. These first ten amendments are the basis for some of our most important freedoms and legal rights.

Destination Title: FindLaw Constitutional Law Center

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the FindLaw Web site.

  • Scroll down and click on Fifth Amendment.
  • Click on and read Indictment by Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, and The Common Law Rule.

After you have read through these pages, answer the following questions.

Grand juries can be traced back to what periods in history?
What are the functions of a grand jury?
What is the underlying idea of the prohibition of “double jeopardy”?
When were forced confessions first excluded from trials?
Write a skit in which an accused person is arrested, tried, and punished without the rights that we take for granted in the Bill of Rights. With a group of your classmates present the skit to the class.
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