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Due process and the right of accused

Due process plays a critical role in the judicial system. Prof. Ching-Fu Lin discusses it in this article

Understanding these foundational elements offers crucial insights into the judicial system’s workings, which will later help us grasp how algorithms can potentially address some of these challenges.

Due Process: A Fundamental Principle of Fairness

Understanding the dynamics of the judicial system requires grasping the paramount importance of due process. This cornerstone ensures fairness, transparency, and consistency throughout legal procedures. Rooted deeply in the U.S. Constitution, both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments emphasize the significance of due process. They collectively ensure that no individual is arbitrarily deprived of life, liberty, or property. Due process is more than just a concept; it’s the lifeblood of procedural justice that instills public trust in our legal system.

Constitution of the United States – Fifth Amendment

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 offense 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.

Constitution of the United States – Fourteenth Amendment

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.

Protecting the Rights of the Accused: The Vital Role of the Sixth Amendment

Beyond due process, the rights of individuals accused of crimes are also vigorously safeguarded. The Sixth Amendment outlines these protections, guaranteeing a fair and speedy trial, the right to an impartial jury, confronting witnesses, and access to counsel, among others. This amendment, in tandem with the Fourteenth Amendment, insists that defendants must have access to evidence that could be favorable to their defense. This combined protection ensures that the scales of justice remain balanced, and every individual has the best possible chance at a fair trial.

Constitution of the United States – Sixth Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

However, the system isn’t without its challenges. Inefficiency can manifest through outdated technology, resource mismanagement, and an overemphasis on processes. Then there’s inconsistency in judicial decisions, influenced by varied interpretations and external political pressures. Additionally, the soaring costs associated with legal proceedings remain a hurdle for many, making access to justice a luxury for some and a dream for others.

© Ching-Fu Lin and NTHU, proofread by ChatGPT
This article is from the free online

AI Ethics, Law, and Policy

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