Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Criminal Justice, Law, Democracy, Freedom, Crime, Religion, Politics, Constitution

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/17

Under the freedom of expression, the constitution gives every individual the right to give their opinions on any matter without interference from state governments. Additionally, the opinions could be aired through any media of choice by any individual. Press and media freedom in reporting is guaranteed by the freedom of expression (Warburton, 2009). The constitutional right enables people or the media to speak openly about injustices, corruption and to criticise government actions without censorship. Thus, freedom of expression is valuable in maintaining democracy in a state. In instances where freedom of expression is curtailed, people experience discrimination and oppression (Index on Censorship, 2013). A good example of this is the marginalisation of certain communities in developing countries, which is a result of governments limiting their freedom of expression. The communities cannot question expenditure or speak against corruption in the governments.

Religion and the Constitution

There are many religions in the United States, but the most common ones include; Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Freedom of worship draws a clear boundary against government interference in any acts of worship or practiced by a certain religion. However, the line is crossed when religious acts go against other rights enshrined in the constitution (Dr Gaddy, 2012). For example, human or animal sacrifice and ingesting illegal drugs in the name are criminal offences. Thus the government has a mandate to intervene and prosecute those responsible for such acts in the name of religion. On the other hand, when the government decides to erect a nativity scene on public property; the government is seen to unfairly advocate for one certain religion. This is unconstitutional and unfair to other religions because the government should be impartial and tolerant to all religions (Markert, 2008).
The due process of law lays down the legal procedures that states should follow in prosecution (May, 2010). The clause on due process is divided into two parts, which are substantive due process and procedural due process. Primarily, the latter guarantees that proper process must be followed before the government reaches the conclusion to deprive an individual of liberty, property and life (NPC, 2007). In contrast to that, substantive due process ensures that the legal proceedings are conducted and fairly and the law is reasonable in the end (Sullivan & Massaro, 2013). It also ensures that a defendant is notified of the legal proceedings that concern them. Clearly, due process provides guidelines on the infringement of the liberties of an individual.
When a court decides to take away the liberty or freedoms of an individual, it has to consider factors such as age; juvenile or adult and the mental state of the defendant. In addition, the court also decides other factors concerned with personal liberty such as marriage status, right to information, right to raise family and sexual autonomy (Sullivan & Massaro, 2013).

Value of Equality

The values of equality, security and liberty fall under the category of democratic or political values. The values of equality in the constitution mainly emphasise that all people must be treated equally. According to the constitution, all people regardless of age, sex and race should have equal economic opportunities (Amy, 2007). In addition, laws should apply equally across the board to all individuals without discrimination or favour. Values of liberty in the constitution guarantee that a person is free to think or act in the manner they please. That is the personal, political and economic rights or freedoms are guaranteed under values of liberty. The values of liberty and values of liberty and equality are modestly intertwined although they address different issues (Narveson & Sterba, 2010). They are seen to liberate and are meant give every individual the space and free choices. As opposed to the values of liberty and equality, the values of security are more restrictive in approach (Amy, 2007). The aim of the value of security is to create a safe and secure environment for all people in the society. It is important that people are protected from others who might choose to enjoy their rights and liberties in a harmful way. Conflicting issues such as right to privacy versus need of surveillance arise when considering security. Additionally, security measures may also limit some privileges and freedoms of individuals albeit for a short period of time.

Death Penalty

In the United States, the death penalty or capital punishment is enforced by about 32 states. However, it is also outlawed in the other different states where it unconstitutional to carry out execution. In the state of Illinois, capital punishment was abolished in the year 2011. Prior to that, the state had executed a total of 12 individuals on death row. Instead of carrying out executions, Illinois now sentences death row individuals to life in prison (Vogue & Pinto, 2011). On the other hand, capital punishment is legal for murder crimes in the neighbouring state of Missouri. The primary method of execution is death by lethal injection or lethal gas in some instances (Clark, 2014). Those who are against capital punishment in Missouri, cite that innocent civilians may be unfairly executed. There are people who also argue that capital punishments in Missouri contravene the right to life of convicts. Additionally, challenges have arisen in lethal injections due to increased shortages in execution drugs (Clark, 2014).

Criminal Procedure

The fourth amendment protects an individual against unauthorised search of property or belongings. The amendment prohibits police to conduct and harass individuals with unnecessary searches. Additionally, the illegal information or evidence seized in an unauthorised search cannot be used for prosecution in a court of law (Mclnnis, 2010). On the other hand, the Fifth Amendment mainly deals with testimonies and importance of a jury in criminal proceedings. It provides the right to a fair jury in a criminal case which is fundamental to achieve impartial justice (Konvitz, 2011). It also protects an individual against being forced to incriminate themselves in legal proceedings (Hails, 2011). Primarily, the Fifth Amendment gives the right for a person refuse to answer questions and plead the fifth if they are being compelled to testify against themselves.
Under the Sixth amendment, the constitution provides for speedy and public trial for an accused person. The introduction of the amendment provides an individual to right of counsel or representation in criminal proceedings. In cases where the defendant cannot afford to the services of counsel, the state is mandated to provide counsel. In conjunction to that, the Eighth Amendment guarantees that an individual shall not be subjected to unfair or unreasonable bail. This means that a defendant shall not pay excessive amounts of fines or bail to secure release from jail before trial (Konvitz, 2011). Bail is an incentive for the defendant to show up in court and is surrendered to the government in the event that the defendant fails to turn up.

References

Amy, D. J. (2007). Government as the Champion of Justice, Equality, Freedom, and Security.
Government is Good. Retrieved from http://www.governmentisgood.com/articles
Clark, M. (2014). Georgia, Missouri End Death Penalty Drought after Botched Execution.
MSNBC. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/georgia-death-penalty-marcus-wellons-first-since-botched-execution-clayton-lockett-oklahoma
Dr Gaddy, W. (2012). Protect the Boundaries Between Religion and Government. Huffington
Post- Religion. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-c-welton-gaddy.
Hails, J. (2011). Criminal Evidence. Boston: Cengage Learning
Index on Censorship. (2013). Why Is Access to Freedom of Expression Important?
Retrieved from http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2013/03/
Konvitz, M. R. (2011). Fundamental Rights: History of a Constitutional Doctrine.
Livingston Campus: Transaction Publishers.
Markert, S. R. (2008). Religious Holiday Displays on Public Property. Freedom from
Religion Foundation. Retrieved from http://ffrf.org/outreach/item/14019-religious-holiday-displays-on-public-propert
May, L. (2010). Global Justice and Due Process. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mclniss, T. N. (2010). The Evolution of the Fourth Amendment. Marylad: Lexington Books.
Narveson, J. & Sterba, J. P. (2010). Are Liberty and Equality Compatible: For and Against.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Sullivan, E. T. & Massaro, T. M. (2013). The Arc of Due Process in American Constitutional
Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
National Paralegal College (NPC). (2007). Substantive Due Process – Fundamental Rights.
Constitutional Law. Retrieved from http://nationalparalegal.edu/conLawCrimProc_Public/DueProcess/
Vogue, A. & Pinto, B. (2011). Illinois Abolishes Death Penalty; 16th State to End
Executions. ABC news. Retrieved from
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/illinois-16th-state-abolish-death-penalty/
Warburton, N. (2009). Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University
Press

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WePapers. (2020, December, 17) Freedom Of Expression Essay Examples. Retrieved October 04, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/freedom-of-expression-essay-examples/
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Freedom Of Expression Essay Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/freedom-of-expression-essay-examples/. Published Dec 17, 2020. Accessed October 04, 2022.
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