Due Process of Law in the United States
October 24, 2011
Austin Dunham Weidner
Within the United States, it is every citizen’s guaranteed right under the U.S. Constitution that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of law. This concept applies to every aspect of the government, including the state, obligating them to uphold the right of due process. Defining the term of due process, understanding what it implies, and identifying how due process affects the criminal justice system is valuable knowledge for any American. The concept of due process applies to different aspects of law; however, primarily concerns the proceedings in which an individual, their property, or their liberty stand to be compromised by government or law, as incorporated by the due process clauses within the Constitution. Due process promises equal protection of the laws from both federal and state administrations, regarding either property or liberty. They are bound to carrying out sufficient procedures that ensure fundamentally fair government action is taken (New York State Department of Civil Service, 2002). The concept of due process is the general assurance that each level of American government upholds the constitution in the adversary process by operating fairly within the constructs of the law. Because due process directly relates to the adversary system an understanding of that system is necessary. Webster’s New World Law Dictionary defines the adversary system as “a method of adjudication in which active and unhindered parties, usually through their lawyers, contest with each other and present support in favor of their respective positions, usually through the examination and cross-examination of witnesses and the presentation of other evidence, to a neutral and independent decision maker” (n.d., 2011). Also dubbed the accusatorial system in criminal proceedings, the adversary system is a general...
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