Rights of the Accused
Define due process and its origins
Due process is hailed by conservatives as one of the most noteworthy legal principles emanating from the English common law tradition. The foundations of due process flow from chapter 39 of Magna Carta (1215) that affirms “no freeman shall be apprehended, or detained, or denied his freehold, or proscribed, or expelled, or any way mistreated, except by the legitimate judgment of his peers and (or) the law of this land.” As it materialized from the English tradition, the spirit of “due process of law” is grounded in the right of individuals to be notified of the charges advanced against them (Wilson, 2009).
Since the 19th century, the understanding of due process clause, inclusive of implication of liberty, has changed dramatically to the extent that conservatives remain split on its appropriate use. The chief controversy regarding “due process of law” rests on the Supreme Court’s application of the clause within the Fourteenth Amendment to pertain to guarantees contained in the Bill of Rights to states via the process of “incorporation” (Ramen, 2001). As such, the application of “liberty” relates to liberties and procedures outlined within the Bill of Rights, plus other rights, liberties, and conditions that may not necessarily be found within the Bill of Rights (Shea, 2011).
The “due process” clause guarantees that individuals accused of perpetrating crimes should be awarded a fair trial (Holmes &. Ramen, 2012). The rights entail right to a jury trial, a presumption of innocence the prosecutors expected to prove guilt “beyond reasonable doubt (the utmost standard of attestation that exists within the legal system), the right to be indicted by a grand jury (5th), the right to counsel (6th), the right to a speedy and public trial, safeguard from brutal and extraordinary punishment (8th), the right against self-incrimination (5th) and protection from double-jeopardy (5th). Other “due process” guarantees encompass the right of the accused persons to face their accusers (6th), and the right to become aware of the charges against the defendant (6th) (Wilson, 2009).
# 2 How due process does Safeguards the accused against abuses by the federal government
The principle of the 4th Amendment is to refuse the Federal Government the power to conduct arbitrary searches and seizure of property. The Fifth Amendment demands that a citizen cannot be accused of a serious crime devoid of a grand jury investigation, besides outlawing double jeopardy (Ramen, 2001). A critical principle flowing from the 4th and 5th Amendments is the exclusionary rule that sustains the principle that evidence gathered illegitimately cannot be used in a trial (Shea, 2011). The 6th Amendment guarantees that an accused person has the right to get counsel assistance for his/her defense.
Observers sometimes point out that the “due process” clause mirrors the “wild card” of the constitution owing to the opportunity that it avails for the judiciary to interpret a person’s rights expansively. In fashioning the rights of the accused, the framers of the constitution possessed vivid reminiscences of a government that accused individuals of crimes they did not perpetrate. Due process guarantees fair treatment by all agencies inclusive of the Federal government in all dealings with the government. The constitutional guarantee of due process proscribes all levels of government from unreasonable or unduly denial of individuals of their fundamental rights to life, liberty, and property.
Holmes, N., &. Ramen, C. (2012). Understanding the rights of the accused. New York, NY: Rosen Pub.
Ramen, F. (2001). The rights of the accused. New York, NY: Rosen Pub Group.
Shea, T. (2011). The Sixth Amendment. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.
Wilson, J. Q. (2009). American government: brief version. Boston, MA: Cengage.