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Fairness is one of the main values upheld by the Constitution. This means that all defendants are to be treated fairly and equally throughout every aspect of the case, and not only during the prosecution. When fundamental fairness is discussed it refers to the fact that the government is not allowed to overstep their boundaries and take an individual’s life, liberty, or property, as citizens are afforded the due process of the law (Erisman, 2018).
The Due Process Clause provides citizens with a guarantee that they will be treated with fairness. The two essentially mean the same thing. Several components of due process can be found in criminal procedures. Individuals who are accused of a crime must be informed of the charges that are being brought against them by the government. There must be a specific law or statute that they are accusing the defendant of breaking. The accused must be given a chance to refute the charges, and this chance must be provided, “in a meaningful way and at a meaningful time” (Procedural Due, 2017). It is also the government’s responsibility to provide evidence that proves that the accused committed the crime that they are being charged with. One example of a procedural protection that is afforded to individuals in a criminal case is the hearing requirement. This provides the accused with a meaningful way and time to protest the charges against them (Procedural Due, 2017).
The court is responsible for finding a balance between individual rights and government interests. The government is interested in keeping the public safe, while citizens want to make sure that their individual rights are not trampled upon. The court maintains this balance by interpreting the Constitution during criminal proceedings. They can protect the rights of the citizens and still make sure the public is safe by ensuring that the due process clause is followed.
Erisman, K. (2018). Lesson 1: Crime Control in a Constitutional Democracy, Criminal. Retrieved from
Procedural Due Process. (2017). Retrieved from

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