Due Process

Due Process

CJ101 Unit 5 Assignment

Due Process

The fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen’s entitlement, is known as due process. It is a judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual. This essay will give a better understanding of what due process is and why it is a central notion in American criminal justice, what our justice system would be like without the use of due process, and why I would not want to live in a society that did not guarantee my due process rights.

Merriam-Webster defines due process as a course of formal proceedings, such as legal proceedings, carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles. It is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. The rights the government is prohibited from taking are a person’s life, liberty, or their property without the due process of law (Right to Due Process, n.d.). It is a central notion in American criminal justice because it is essential to ensure that those who are innocent are not convicted of a crime they did not commit. This model assumes that it is more important that the rights of those falsely accused are protected. Our courts in the United States tend to prefer this model because it equally favors all citizens, even those who have been accused of committing a crime, by taking care of their freedoms and rights.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Without due process in our criminal justice system, individual rights would not exist for a suspect who has been accused of committing a crime. It is often argued that in times of fear, whether created by outside forces or the government, when it is needed to be the most vigilant about protecting our liberties (Napolitano, 2016). I do not believe anyone would feel like they were being treated fairly or justly without due process.

On that note, I personally would not want to live in a world that did not have due process. No society can function without a form of due process now that it has been established as an institution of society. If no due process was given the ramifications to the system not allowing due process would cause the institution to fail. It just sounds like a situation that could only end badly due to wrongfully committing people and sending them to prison while the actual offenders walk free to commit more crimes.

Living in a society without due process would be a world of chaos. Without the rights that were given to us in the U.S. Constitution our justice system would crumble to the ground. The notions of due process are the right to be presumed innocent, the right to a fair trial, and the right to assistance of counsel. Without these notions there could be many innocent people who get sent to jail who are innocent and many other criminals getting these fair trials. There is only procedural fairness with due process.


Napolitano, A. P. (2016, September 21). Why due process is vital to freedom. Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/21/why-due-process-is-vital-to-freedom/

Right to Due Process. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2018, from http://www.lincoln.edu/criminaljustice/hr/Dueprocess.htm