By Carrie Fredericks

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Additional info for Amendment XIV: Due Process (Constitutional Amendments)

Example text

The Babylonian Code of King Hammurabi (ca. 2100? ), the Roman Law of the Twelve Tables, and the English common law. The Ancient Idea of Due Process Historically the idea and content of due process of law arose in very ancient times. The earliest records disclose the difficulty of the Egyptian King Harmhab in finding “two judges . . ” And his instructions to the judges included an admonition not to decide a case “without hearing the other” party. The oldest court record (ca. ) shows that the Egyptian legal procedure included allegations of a claim, denials by the other, and the requirement that the first party produce “credible witnesses who will make oath” supporting him; otherwise the case is to be decided negatively.

United States (1927), a unanimous Court declared that “the doctrine [cannot] . . ” The Court, in Olmstead v. ” In McNabb v. United States (1943), we note this statement: “[A] conviction in the federal courts, the foundation of which is evidence obtained in disregard of liberties deemed fundamental by the Constitution, cannot stand. . And this Court has, on Constitutional grounds, set aside convictions, both in the federal and state courts, which were based upon confessions ‘secured by protracted and repeated questioning of ignorant and untutored persons, in whose minds the power of officers was greatly magnified’ .

Increasingly, the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to eviscerate its promise of equal citizenship. By the turn of the century, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments had become dead letters throughout the South. A new racial system had been put in place, resting on the disenfranchisement of black voters, segregation in every area of life, unequal education and job opportunities, and the threat of violent retribution against those who challenged the new order. The blatant violation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments occurred with the acquiescence of the entire nation.

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