The Bill of Rights and Due Process

Covers search and seizure, rights of the accused, due process of law, jury trials, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.

How Do Due Process Protections for the Accused Protect Us All?

Clock 50 minutes

The Founders paid close attention to the rights of the accused because they realized that the government had the power both to prosecute and convict. Protections were needed to guard against the government’s abuse of these powers. Understanding how the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments operate to guarantee such protection and how they work to ensure both individual liberty and limit government is vital to maintaining free citizenship. This lesson explores these amendments and the protections they provide.

Founding Principles

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Due Process

The government must interact with all citizens according to the duly-enacted laws; applying these rules equally among all citizens.

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Inalienable / Natural Rights

Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.

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Individual Responsibility

Individuals must take care of themselves and their families and be vigilant to preserve their liberty.

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Liberty

Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, the government does not have the authority to limit freedom.

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