Criminal Procedure in the United States

Ronald Reagan, a former President of the United States, once said that liberty is not more than one generation far away from extermination. He added that United States did not pass it to generations in the bloodstream. According to him, Americans must fight for it, protect it, and handle it for future generations to do the same. In other case, one day, they will spend their sunset years narrating to the future generation what it was once like in the United States where everybody was free. This paper explores due process as well as varied models of crime control linked to the policy of criminal procedure. The Sixth, Fifth, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment will be included in the discussion. These Amendments will be explicated in line with their role in the policies of criminal procedure. Last but not least, the paper will explore the Bill of Rights alongside its significance to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment.


The due process in the United States refers to an established set of legal standards obtained from the Constitution, whose aim is to protect the citizens’ rights (Neubauer, 2011). This is done to make sure that the US federal government treats people in a fair manner and does not misuse its authority by acting against its people in an oppressive, capricious or arbitrary manner. The due process concept is derived from the constitutional Fifth Amendment, which establishes that no person shall be deprived of liberty, property or life without due process. Crime control model, on the other hand, is a process of decision-making that privileges the community’s and the society’s interests over rights of individual in order to maintain public safety. Its objective is to contain and control crime while valuing efficiency and speed, factual guilt, uniformity, shortcuts, informality, and finality.

The key function of United States criminal justice, under the due process model, is to execute fundamental fairness or due process based on the law. Normally, the emphasis in the due process model is put on the rights of the defendant that are protected under the Bill of Rights. In addition, it is premised on belief that the power of police should be reduced to curtail oppression of civilians. The state must not hold any person culpable solely on the basis of the facts; people should be declared accountable only if the state follows lawful procedures in its fact-finding.

When related to the due process model that has an attached liberal value, the crime control model is premised on a conservative basis. The laws can be extrapolated. However, the government and police cannot misuse their authority and must recognize that civilians are entitled to the right degree of privacy under the law of the land. Crime control model relies on factual guilt, while the due process model relies on actual guilt (Gaines & Miller, 2012). In addition, the crime control model looks like it is run on dictatorial lines. That is, at initial stages, it seems to work very well with good intentions, but in the end, it fails completely. Presumption of innocence is nonexistent in the crime control model until proven otherwise, and prosecutors and police are always believed to be right. In this context, justice seems to dangle on the edge and encourage civil rights violations, in addition to other freedoms that are held dear in America.

As defined above, the crime repression, according to the crime control model, should be an overriding purpose of criminal justice as the order is an essential condition for a society that is free. In addition, the crime control model favors the rights of victim over the defendant’s rights, and anything that complicates police matters should be removed. In this model, an accused is presumed guilty and the system of justice is likened to a conveyor made up of justice; also, it promptly moves the case disposition of defendants. The focal point of the process of criminal justice is to determine the reality or to set up the truthful guilt of an accused.

The Fourth Amendment, on the other hand, states that the people’s right to be safe in their papers, persons, effects and houses against unreasonable seizures and searches, shall not be dishonored. The Fourth Amendment continues to state that no Warrants could be issued, unless there is a probable cause, based on affirmation or Oath, specifically describing the locality to be searched or things or persons to be seized. This should be upheld at all times and not taken lightly or superseded by other Acts like the United States PATRIOT Act.

The Fifth Amendment states that no individual shall be held answerable for a capital or any other infamous offense, unless on an indictment of a Grand Jury or presentment, apart from cases arising in the naval or land forces, when in War service or public peril; nor shall any individual be liable for the same crime to be put in jeopardy of life more than once; nor shall be obligated in any case, criminal-based, to be denied of life, property or liberty without due process; nor shall private belongings be converted to public without just compensation.

The Sixth Amendment embodies criminal prosecutions, whereby it states that an accused person shall enjoy the privilege of a timely public trial by an independent judge of the district and State wherein the offense has been committed. With this, the district shall be formerly ascertained by decree and briefed on the cause and nature of the allegation; shall be faced with the plaintiff’s witnesses; shall have mandatory process of obtaining witnesses, and shall have the counsel’s assistance.

The Fourteenth Amendment embodies all persons naturalized or born in the US, and subject to the law are the United States citizens and those having the State of residence (Cole & Smith, 2009). Under the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall enforce or make any legislation which shall infringe the immunities and privileges of the United States citizens; nor shall any State tamper with the life of any person, his/her property or liberty without due process; or deny to any individual within its boundaries the equivalent protection of the laws. In general terms, the Fourteenth Amendment connotes a lot of things for varied people. For some, it legalizes same-sex marriage; for others, this aspect is an abomination.

How Both Models are Affected by the Bill of Rights

Both models (the due process model and the crime control model) are efficient in the system of criminal justice in their unique ways. First, both models bring negative and positive aspects to the system of criminal justice. From the models, it is believed that it is not warranted to treat defendants or criminals as citizens who do not deserve recognition, because they also have some rights as humans (Hartigan, 2003). The uniform treatment must be premised on innocence of the parties or the accused until found responsible by a law court. On the other hand, police should not force judgment on people before they have been given fair trials. Regrettably, things do not always take place in a correct and fair manner. It is because of this that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are so imperative to have and protect as a guideline for fundamental rights that Americans stand for and cherish. People should not give up their freedom for the pledge of false security, nor should people treat those citizens that opt to break the laws or offend morality inhumanely. In a nutshell, justice can be dispensed in an earnest, righteous way.


The two crime models that have been contradicting each other for several years are the crime control model and due process model. As it has been established, the model of due process establishes that a person cannot be deprived of life, property or liberty without suitable lawful safeguards and procedures. Therefore, any individual that is convicted or accused of committing an offense is required to have his or her rights safeguarded by the system of criminal justice under the model of due process. The model of crime control, on the other hand, is premised on the postulation of absolute dependability or reliability on fact-finding by police officers; it treats those who have been arrested as if they are guilty.

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