Due Process

Due Process
By: Adam Milton and Cory
► No
person shall be held to answer for a capital, or
otherwise infamous crime, unless on a
presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except
in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in
the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or
public danger; nor shall any person be subject for
the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of
life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself, nor be
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law; nor shall private property be taken
for public use, without just compensation.
► Section
1. All persons born or naturalized in the
United States, and subject to the jurisdiction
thereof, are citizens of the United States and of
the State wherein they reside. No State shall make
or enforce any law which shall abridge the
privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
States; nor shall any State deprive any person of
life, liberty, or property, without due process of
law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of the laws.
Due process - principle that the government must respect
all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according
to the law. Rights cannot be taken away without a trial.
► Procedural due process – procedural rights dictate how the
government can lawfully go about taking away a person’s
freedom or property or life, when the law otherwise gives
them the power to do so.
► Substantive due process - substantive rights are those
general rights that reserve to the individual the power to
possess or to do certain things, despite the government’s
desire to the contrary.
► Eminent domain - is the inherent power of the state to
seize a citizen's property, or seize a citizen's rights in
property with due monetary compensation, but without the
owner's consent.
Miranda v. Arizona
Background: Ernesto Arturo Miranda was arrested for
robbery and then confessed to raping an 18-year-old
female. Miranda’s lawyer appealed to the Arizona Supreme
Court who then emphasized that Miranda did not request
an attorney.
► Decision: Since Miranda did not request a lawyer and was
not informed of his rights, this violated the 6th
amendment's right to an attorney. No confession could be
admissible under the 5th amendments’s self-incrimination
clause as well.
► 5 votes for Miranda, 4 votes against
► Miranda’s conviction was overturned.
► Effects
on policy: It enacted the famous Miranda
► “The person in custody must, prior to
interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the
right to remain silent, and that anything he says
will be used against him in the court of law; he
must be clearly informed that he has the right to
consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with
him during interrogation, and that, if he is
indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent
Richards v. Jefferson County
Background: Jason Richards and others, who are privately employed
in Jefferson County, filed a state court class action suit claiming that
the county's occupation tax violates the Federal and Alabama
Constitutions. The State Supreme Court thought doctrine of res
judicata meaning already judged or final judgement applied due to a
former case of Bedingfield v. Jefferson County.
Decision: The Court ruled that since the Richards and others were not
sufficiently represented in Bedingfield v. Jefferson County case, under
federal due process, the previous ruling did not bind Richards and
cannot stop them from challenging the unconstitutionality of the law.
9 votes for Richards, 0 votes against
Effects on Policy: Further asserted the power of due process to
protect the rights of people
Smith v. Phillips
Background: Smith was convicted of murder and wanted vacate his
conviction on the ground that a juror in his case submitted during the trial an
application for employment as an investigator in the District Attorney's Office.
Smith assumed that the prosecuting attorneys withheld the information from
the trial court and respondent's defense counsel until after the trial. The
District Court ordered Smith released unless the State granted him a new trial.
The United States Court of Appeals, without considering whether the juror was
actually or biased not, said that since the prosecutors failed to disclose their
knowledge about the juror, Smith was denied due process.
► Decision: Smith was not denied a fair trial under the Due Process Clause
under the 14th Amendment. However it was wrong for the lower courts to
order a new trial. Federal courts hold no supervisory authority over
state judicial proceedings, and may intervene only to correct wrongs
that involve the constitution.
votes for Smith, 3 votes against
► Effects on policy: Helped insure that a
person has a right to a fair trial.
Wolff v. McDonnell
Background: Wolff held that the disciplinary proceedings at his
prison violated due process; that the inmate legal assistance program
did not meet constitutional standards; and that the regulations
governing inmates' mail were unconstitutionally restrictive.
Decision: The Court held that prisoners are no longer slaves of the
state and are not entirely stripped of their constitutional protections.
Prisoners can also call witnesses in present evidence to defend himself.
The Court also said that a State can constitutionally require mail from
an attorney be indentified as such and can be opened in front of a
prisoner to protect from contraband
6 votes for Wolff, 3 votes against
Effects on policy: Prisoners are no longer prisoners of the state and
are given more rights
Barron v. Baltimore
Background: John Barron was a co-owner of a wharf in Baltimore
harbor and due to expansion of the city some of his fishing grounds
were becoming useless. He sued the city to recover financial losses.
Decision: The Court had to rule whether eminent domain in the 5th
amendment applied to states as well. It ruled that under the original
intent of the framers since it was supposed to protect from the federal
government and not the state government the amendment was not
7 votes for Baltimore, 0 votes against
Effects on policy: Held that the Bill of Rights could not be
applied to the States. This was reversed in the 14th
Lawrence v. Texas
Background: Due to a reported weapons disturbance, police entered
Lawrence’s residence where he was found with another man. Under
the Texas “Homosexual Conduct" law, which did not allow same-sex
sexual intimacy, they were convicted. Both of the men fought that they
were denied due process and were not able to enjoy their right to
liberty and privacy.
Decision: The law did violate the Due Process Clause since they were
free adults to do as they wish. The state has no right to intrude into its
peoples’ lives.
6 votes for Lawrence and Garner, 3 vote(s) against
Effects on policy: Reaffirmed the power of the 14th amendment that
due process applies to states. Also it helped move Gay Rights.
Represents the right to a fair
trial. Controversy over distorted
Demonstrates that Miranda rights are now
mandated in law enforcement.
Evolution of Due Process
Barron v. Baltimore (1833) – Bill of Rights were not applied to states
Slaughterhouse Case (1873) – caused the privileges and immunities
clause to not be used to apply the Bill of Rights to the states
Gitlow v. New York (1925) – ruled that provisions and liberties in the
Bill of Rights applied to states. Bill of Rights were “totally
incorporated.” Due process has same restrictions on state government
as it does on the federal government.
Palko v. Connecticut (1937) – decided on selective incorporation
instead of total.
As years passed, more and more amendments of the Bill of Rights
were put under the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) – enacted Miranda Rights to insure that due
process is given to everyone.
► http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/video/di
► http://www.oyez.org/
► http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendme
► http://supreme.justia.com/