Free «Criminal Law Foundations Evaluation» Essay Sample
The Fourth Amendment was introduced in 1789 by James Madison in the United States of America. Up to 1776, America had been a British colony. Colonizers had some rules that allowed unrestricted searches and seizures of persons and personal property, interfering with their privacy and dignity. The Amendment aimed at rectifying this gross abuse of human rights and peaceful enjoyment of personal freedom and property, which is a fundamental human right inalienable of any human being. This landmark amendment sought to strengthen the rule of law, which set the pace and momentum for democratic institutions in the United States of America. It catapulted the spread of these noble ideals globally. The Amendment followed the case of 1604, in which a judge categorically stated that an individual house was his castle, fortress, and haven. Initially, kings and others of that ilk in Britain could trespass upon people private residences, and this was agonizing. Constant raids by state agents were unjustifiable and used to settle old scores. It led to an avalanche of ineffective litigations due to the lack of the pre-existing law. Some searches were indiscriminate and unreasonable. There were no probable causes for them. The Fourth Amendment was to eliminate these cases, seizure of property, arbitrary arrests, unwarranted searches, or surveillance, and ensured protection and promotion of human dignity and freedom. However, after its enactment, it went into a state of judicial dormancy. It meant that it took time before it was implemented and accepted by the various states of America. It was because of the existing animosity between the Northern and the Southern states on political ideological grounds, especially the South been an epicenter of gross human rights abuse and a constant advocate of slavery. Therefore, the government could not wink at raiding people property and privacy. Later on, the Amendment was accepted and implemented and helped the judicial process in the following way below.
The procedural law refers to the application of fair judicial rules and regulations in the provision of justice to the citizenry so as to build a trusted, strong, coherent, and reliable judicial institution. In the execution of justice, rules are not applied with difficulties. There are laid out systems, mechanisms, structures, and pillars that facilitate and empower this process. It is not done in a random order. It is well-planned and well-cut, and the mechanisms are applied to all without discrimination. The Fourth Amendment required any state officer or any individual to get a warrant or permission, which was supposed to be a written writ before trespassing upon private property. The writ had to be gotten from a credible and competent magistrate sanctioned by the law of the land. Any search warrant had to have a backing, as one could not search discriminately or without any cause to innocent unsuspecting peace-loving citizens. The search could only be done for the interest of protecting the public from any criminal, dangerous, or harmful elements in society that ought to be stamped out. The search could also be done for the purpose of national security. Once it has been carried out, the evidence collected are used against the suspected person, who has to go through the judicial process. If the evidence hold water, then the person can be persecuted. It applies to both juvenile and adult court proceedings. The court therefore does not depend on heresies, rumors, and vague evidence. It is also the one authority allowed the search. Therefore it will understand the proceedings better and offer a fair hearing and judgment. It also curtails state officers to act unilaterally at the detriment of the general public, as some of them may tend to be unscrupulous exploiting people (Wolfgang, 2010).
However, this rule does not hold water in case of the following factors, which are termed as exceptions of this rule and are referred to as the exclusion rule. When the search is under the consent of the person been searched, and immigration officers are manning the boarder, they do not need to acquire a warrant from a judicial institution, but they should carry out border searches with dignity and humanity. The search of motor vehicles is also accepted, as a motor vehicle is not a residential property.
The Fifth Amendment was also introduced to protect fundamental human rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, as well as the private property of individuals. It further strengthened the democratic space. The Amendment required anybody who had been accused to be subjected to a grand jury. It refers to a situation where an individual is persecuted twice for the same crime. One cannot be persecuted for a murder twice as a murder is a murder. However, there have been varied rulings based on various circumstances, as justice systems sometimes tend to be pragmatic. A person can face charges of the same crime if the elements in the two accusations are different. It is meant to serve justice. The Amendment in this case is aimed at the protection of an individual against self-incriminating (American Government, n.d.).
Self-incrimination is instances or situations that can drive the accused person to incriminating or implicating himself or herself for committed and uncommitted crimes. It gives the accused person the power not to answer questions that can implicate him or her. It also protects an individual against the extraction of information thorough dubious, unacceptable, cruel and ruthless methods such as torture. The Amendment also sought to empower the judicial process, which was termed as a due one. It stated that the judicial process had to be fair, endowed with equity and legality, and should not seek to deprive an individual of his justice. It also sought to eliminate multiple punishments for the same offence so as to provide justice to the citizenry of the county. There are different exceptions applied in various clauses of the Fifth Amendment, including the cases that deal with the army and the naval, as well as the militia. It is meant for public good and protection of the interest of the country against internal and external aggressors.