CJ101 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
While writing this paper I hope to explain some of the reasons why due process is a cornerstone to the American justice system, Due process is comprised of amendments in the Constitution and it is an important foundation to the right we have as citizens. With out the due process our judicial system would not be able to function, and democracy would not exist. The life we have in the United States would be a police state, without rights, freedoms, or personal gain.
What is due process?
Due process is a right, this right is guaranteed by the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution. It is generally understood, in legal contexts, to mean the due course of legal proceedings according to the rules and forms established for the protection of individual rights. This means that laws must be applied fairly and equally to all people, especially to a citizen accused of a crime. (Schmalleger) The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be deprived of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The clause of the due process and the Fifth Amendment guarantees the citizens of America the right to be informed of any legal action being taken against the, and the opportunity to be heard during a fair court proceeding. Another amendment that contains the due process is the Fourteenth Amendment. The due process clause of the Fifth Amendment regulates only the federal government, as opposed to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which regulates actions taken by state government. (Batten, 2010)
Why is due process such a central notion in American criminal justice?
The due process o the aw underlines the first ten amendments of the Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights it is specifically guaranteed but the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the Fifth is clear when it states, “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, property, without due process of law.” Fourteenth Amendment is extremely binding on the state level. According to that each state must respect the rights of the citizens of the United States who are under their jurisdiction. (Schmalleger) The main requirements of the due process as it pertains to the police has three major areas, the first is evidence and investigation, this is often called search and seizure, second would be arrest, and the third is the interrogation. (Schmalleger)
What would our justice system be like without due process?
If there was no such thing as the due process, there would be no “rules of the game,” for what we call the justice system. Citizens would have no rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution. Unfortunately, any innocent individuals who were accused of crimes would not be able to defend themselves against the deliberate abuse of power that came from the police, prosecutors, and judges. There would be no council for the criminal defendants and for those who are unjustly accused of crimes they did not commit, this would lead to no chance of vindication. The individuals with the greatest amount of power would be in control of the people this would most likely be a monarchy-based society.
Would you want to live in a society that did not guarantee due process rights?
Our founding fathers were the ones who created the due process, it was created to ensure that the governing that bodies our country did not interfere with the rights of the people. To live in a society that carries no due process would mean that there is nothing that can be done to stop the police when abusing their powers. We would be spending our lives living in a police state. With that, there would be no opportunity for social change or our rights to freedom, we would wake up and fall asleep in fear. So, to answer the question, no, living in a society where there was no a guarantee of due process would not be substantial for my family.
How has technology affected die process in America during the past century?
Stated in the Fourth Amendment, the right of the people to be seizure in their persons, houses, papers, aim effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.(US Constitutional Amendment) Our technology is expanding every day, and there are so many different approaches that can be used. Technology has advanced that effect freedom of speech and the way to privacy and personal autonomy to the privilege against self-incrimination.
Today we live in a society that is forever changing. In my opinion our rights and freedoms are slowly being taken away from us. This is a result of ignorance and complacency. People can no longer afford to sit back and let the government representatives take away the Constitutional guarantees, this is like our Second Amendment which is the right to bear arms. Our forefather brought these rights to light and are very cornerstone of our country. We already live in a society where the due process continues to be compromised. There are already those in power who take control and abuse the rights of citizens. So as much as we all would like to believe it, the due process has no guarantee.
U.S. Constitutional Amendments. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2019, from https://constitution.findlaw.com/amendments.html
“Constitutional Law.” Gale Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Donna Batten. 3rd ed Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 133-143. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.