Bill of Rights Glossary

Amendment:  change to the constitution.

Bail:  money paid by the accused to gain his or her release in the personal before trial make sure her or she will show up for the trial.  If the accused does not appear, he or she loses the money.

Civil case:  one usually involving a dispute between two or more private individuals or organizations.

Constitution:  a plan that provides the rule for a government.

Defendant:  the accused person, who must defend himself or herself against a formal charge.  In criminal cases, this means the person officially accused of a crime.

Democracy: a form of government, a way of life in which it is rule by the people.

Double jeopardy:  retrial of a person who was acquitted in a previous trial for the same crime.

Due process of law:  principle in the fifth amendment stating that the government must follow proper constitutional procedures in trials and other actions takes against individuals.

Eminent domain: the power of the government to take private property for public use.

Federalist:  group of Americans who favored the constitution; was led by many of the country's founders.

Grand jury:  group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial.

Miranda rights:  prior to questioning, persons must be warned have the right to remain silent, he cannot say anything that can be used as evidence against him in the court of law; he has the right to an attorney.

Plaintiff:  person who brings charges in court.




Court Cases

Actual Bill of Rights


Bill of Rights Home Page

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