Jan 12, 2018 in Law

Courts in Criminal Justice

On ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the US Supreme Court made sensitive ruling regarding provisions of protection to criminal offenders through the Bill of Rights. Some of the provisions are available to the states, while others are under the sole mandate and responsibility of the federal government. The main objective of this paper is to focus on the provisions that are inapplicable to the state and aspects of substantive and criminal law with regards to the same Bill of Rights.

In the Fourteenth Amendment, there are clear provisions that the Bill of Rights gives criminal offenders. They include Protection against Excessive Bails, Equal Protection and the Right to the Indictment by a Grand Jury. These provisions, according to the US Supreme Court’s ruling concerning the Amendment, do not apply to the states and are binding to the Federal Government only.

In the first instance, the states’ local jurisdiction courts have the onus to impose fines and give bails without any restrictions. However, the Federal Government can only do that under tight observation of the legal conditions in place as per the Fourteenth Amendment’s Bill of Rights.

Secondly, the right to the indictment by a Grand Jury does not apply to the states. This provision is only applicable with cases concerning the federal authority. The states, as per the Supreme Court’s judgment, do not require such an arrangement. In case that happens, the local jurisdiction powers have the mandate to make their own rules regarding that whole procedure. They are not restrained by any legal provision of the Fourteenth Amendment (US Supreme Court, 2011).

Additionally, the provision of Equal Protection does not apply to the states. The Supreme Court’s ruling elicited sharp reactions from several quotas regarding this one. There are people who believe that it was irrational and ill-intended to make such a ruling, as a lot of the US citizens face many forms of discriminatory injustices, especially African Americans.

In criminal law, there are substantive and procedural laws. The two complement each other and one cannot be without the other. That is, one refers to the specification of a given legal event in case of a criminal activity. The other one is the step-by-step process of ensuring that the event takes place.

Procedural law describes the methods that guide the normal processes of ensuring fundamental rights remain relevant in any legal activity. This seeks to ensure that entire process guarantees fairness to all concerned parties. It is a set of rules that guide the process of dispensing justice (Legal Information Institute, 1992).

Besides procedural, there is substantive law. This part of the law entails the creation and defines the fundamental rights and responsibilities that must guide any legal process and definition of the responsibilities and fundamental rights.

In the Bill of Rights, as provided for in the Fourteenth Amendment, there are significant aspects of both substantive and procedural laws.

The aspect of “due process” is an evident illustration of procedural law. Incidents of the “due process” include protection against undue searches and seizures, protection against double jeopardy, and the requirement for law enforcement agents to inform the reasons for their arrest.

In substantive law, there are particular duties and fundamental rights that matter. They include the Right to Fair Trial, the provision of Equal Protection and the Right to a Grand Jury. These are designed as specific rights, duties and mandates that must be there for different legal contexts.

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