Both Right and Left used to believe in our Constitutional right to due process under the law, but sadly, those days are gone.
In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the city manager was fired for simply stating that an investigation would need to be done into to the tragic shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man who was pulled over for a routine traffic stop only to be shot and killed by a female police officer.
Johnathan Turley wrote the following about the attack on due process in Minnesota over at The Hill:
“When Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey said a full investigation would be conducted and due process afforded to any accused officers, he was fired. Soon after the shooting, and before any underlying facts were established, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz denounced ‘another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement’ and made a connection to the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, occurring a few miles away.”
Leftist pundits and celebrities are similarly contributing to the disintegration of due process, particularly in the Derek Chauvin case.
They say there is enough evidence from the video alone to convict Chauvin, and that a trial is unnecessary. Regardless of how the video looks to them, Mr. Chauvin is entitled to a fair trial. Due process is to be afforded to every American, and Derek Chauvin is an American.
The attack on the Bill of Rights’ due process has accelerated in the past few years. The right to due process and a fair trial was under attack long before the latest shooting in Minnesota.
Due Process is the foundation of the American legal system. Without it, we wouldn’t be a country. The bedrock upon which this republic was built is the rule of law and due process.
Our Founding Fathers were rebelling against a King and a legislature that prevented them from receiving a fair trial and locked them up without cause.
The Declaration of Independence is most famous for Jefferson’s rhetorical flourishes, but if you want to understand why America came into existence, you need to read the laundry list of complaints that the colonists had for declaring independence.
Jefferson introduced the list portion by writing: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Many of the justifications were undergirded by a lack of due process.
The rush to convict someone in the court of public opinion is more important than the principles enshrined in the Constitution.
The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments lay out the proper course of action to be taken to ensure equal justice under the law.
The Fourth Amendment bars the government from unreasonable search and seizures of an individual or their property.
The Fifth Amendment provides several protections for people accused of crimes. It states that serious criminal charges must be started by a grand jury. A person cannot be tried twice for the same offense (double jeopardy) or have property taken away without just compensation. People have the right against self-incrimination and cannot be imprisoned without due process of law (fair procedures and trials.)
The Sixth Amendment provides additional protections to people accused of crimes, such as the right to a speedy trial, trial by an impartial jury in criminal cases, and to be informed of criminal charges. Witnesses must face the accused, and the accused is allowed his or her own witnesses and to be represented by a lawyer.
The Eighth Amendment bars excessive bail and fines and cruel or unusual punishment.
Sadly, due process is dying, and the city manager of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, lost his job for defending due process.
These are perilous times in America indeed.