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Maryam Ahranjani, a criminal law professor at the University of New Mexico, concedes that the "accessibility" of information is much different now than when the Founding Fathers ratified the Sixth Amendment (the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury), but that the original idea of that section of the Constitution stemmed from the belief trials are best held in the community in which they occurred.

"Certainly judges are willing to change venues sometimes, consistent with that original idea that the local community is what defines the crime and so they're the ones who should determine whether this individual breached the norms and expectations of that community," Ahranjani says. "The idea is that they're offenses against a community, they're breaches of community trust, of community expectations, of shared norms. And so it makes sense for the community to make a decision about a person's guilt or innocence."

Publication Title

Santa Fe Reporter


Sixth Amendment, Community Trust



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