Bill of Rights: Due Process in America Essay

Pages: 4 (1318 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Written: February 28, 2019

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When people like the Dallas Shooter or Anwar al-Awlaki are killed without due process it is a violation of their American and natural rights. Yet, the government justifies these attacks on the grounds that their killings saved lives or protected Americans—i.e., protected the state (D’Errico, 2018). The fact is that it is all just another rendition of Lincoln’s tyrannical behavior evinced during the Civil War. When the Executive Branch literally takes over the role of the judicial branch and sentences a person to die without access to a trial, the Executive is acting in treason to the state—not the other way around, which is how the state typically justifies its actions. The state does not have a right to assassinate citizens—and if it wants to see that justice is done, it must take every means available to bring the accused to justice in a court of law. That is supposed to be the American Way as based on the natural laws identified by Jefferson centuries ago.

Due Process Rights of the Accused: Innocent Until Proven Guilty

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Without due process, American society would be the kind of society envisioned by Orwell in 1984. It would be completely authoritarian and totalitarian. There would be no concept or sense of the rights of the individual person. The State would be all that matters. The life of the State would be tantamount and paramount. No citizen’s rights could be greater than the State’s. Already, America seems much like an Orwellian world in which the average citizen cannot expect to have his rights protected by the government when so many examples abound of the government not protecting them for other citizens.

Essay on Bill of Rights: Due Process in America Assignment

Without due process, America would become a place like the Philippines, where Duterte has authorized it so that a drug dealer can be killed without due process. Duterte is widely recognized around the world as an authoritarian. He is the government. He is the law. He does not operate according to any high-minded Enlightenment Era principles or philosophy. He does not care about the natural rights of man. He cares about controlling and stopping the drug problem in the Philippines and if he has reason to suspect that one is a drug dealer, he is a willing and glad executioner of that person. He views himself as doing God’s work. It is his way—but it is far from the American way, or at least from the way envisioned by the (perhaps idealistic) Founding Fathers.

In America, one should receive total due process. Such would align with the founding principles of the nation—the principles of liberty and justice for all. There should be no line for when a person does not get due process. Whether one is suspected of being a drug dealer, a mass murderer, a terrorist, or any other type of terrible thing—that person still has a right to trial. Liberty and justice demand it. The judicial branch was established for a reason, and due process clauses were written into the Constitution for a reason. Every person has a right to have their case heard in court, where the accused can defend himself and respond to the accusations leveled against him. Even if the evidence is overwhelmingly clear beforehand, that right cannot be superseded by anyone in government, no matter how powerful.

References
  1. Black, H. L. (1960). The bill of rights. NyUL Rev., 35, 865-890.
  2. D'Errico, J. G. (2018). Executive Power, Drone Executions, and the Due Process Rights of American Citizens. Fordham L. Rev., 87, 1185.
  3. Jefferson, T. (1774).  Thomas Jefferson to Virginia Delegates to the Continental Congress, August 1774: A Summary View of the Rights… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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