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Good evening Professor and classmates,

There are two things that all Americans as entitled to, they are fairness and equal justice. When someone comes into contact with the criminal justice system, they are entitled to fundamental fairness. The right to have an impartial court that provides guarantees to a fair due process is fundamental fairness. For example, in the landmark case, Powell v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alabama had denied the defendants fairness in the due process because the judge that ruled in the conviction, had appointed an out of state attorney who was unfamiliar with Alabama court proceedings, and thus unable to properly defend the defendants (Generally: The Principle of Fundamental Fiarness, n.d.).

The various components of due process in the criminal procedure are those are protections enshrined in the United States Bill of Rights which constitute the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. If a subject/accused is denied any of the above-named Amendments, they are denied due process and fundamental fairness. Procedural protections that are afforded to individuals in a criminal case commence the instant an agent of the state contacts them. For example, if an individual is suspected of a crime, the officer must advise the suspect against self-incrimination provided under Miranda Rights. Also, if the officer notices any items of evidentiary value, the officer must have probable cause and obtain warrants to seize any items as directed by the Fourth Amendment.

The court balances individual rights against government interests by placing checks and balances in the criminal process. For example, in the Konigsberg V. State Bar of California (1961), Konigsberg argued that his first amendment rights were violated when he refused to answer questions in the California State bar application that pertained to Communist affiliation. The Supreme Court did not agree with Konigsberg’s argument because free speech and association were not “absolutes” and it was in the interest of the government’s interest far outweigh individual interest because such questions were supposed to filter dangerous applicants (Vile, n.d.).



Generally: The Principle of Fundamental Fiarness. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan 06, 2020, from…

Vile, J. R. (n.d.). Konigsberg v. State Bar (1961). Retrieved Jan 06, 2020, from…



When learning about fundamental fairness it was important for me to understand what due process meant as those two phrases go hand in hand. Reading the lesson for the week I learned due process is the legal requirement of the government to respect a person’s legal rights and not take a person’s life, liberty, and or property without due process of law (Generally: The Principle of Fundamental Fairness).

And then fundamental fairness comes into play, fundamental fairness is basically the balance to keep all court processing’s “fair”, meaning these proceedings are done without judgment. The courts are required to follow this standard during due process. There’s also several bill of rights to ensure people are being treated fairly in the case they are suspected of a crime and are being charged, those amendments are fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and the fourteenth (RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS).

The last question about balance and individual rights was the one that made me think the most, I think of it often, but I am never able to properly articulate what I am thinking. A simple way I can comprehend what this really means is by taking the right of freedom of speech. This is an individual right we all have but there must be balance for this right. I can shout at the top of my lungs at 1am because its my right, right? But I shouldn’t because my neighborhood has a quiet time rule and for that reason, I can get in trouble for practicing my right. While this example seems simple to me it was an easy way to understand balance. Now the court has set up the right to refuse a search without a search warrant, again balance.


(n.d.). Retrieved January 7th, 2020, from RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS:…

Generally: The Principle of Fundamental Fairness. (n.d.). Justia Us Law. Retrieved from…

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