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    Civil Liberties and Due Process

    Civil liberties

    "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense."¹

    The paragraph above is known as the Miranda Warning.¹ It details civil liberaties a person is entitled to if police are placing them under arrest. Civil liberties refer to the basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed. They include¹:

    • Freedom of speech
    • The right to privacy
    • The right to be free from unreasonable searches of your home or auto
    • Freedom from unreasonable searches of yourself
    • The right to a fair and speedy court trial
    • The right to marry
    • The right to vote
    • Freedom from slavery or forced labor
    • Freedom from cruel or unusual punishment
    • Freedom from incriminating oneself

    Sometimes, the government has an obligation to do things (promote the general welfare of citizens, ensure the safety of citizens, and promote morals in society) which can limit civil liberties.¹

    Due process

    This is what separates democracy from a police state.² The 14th Amendment of the Constitution states that "the government shall not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property" without first having a fair chance to defend themselves. Essentially, it is the promise that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution.³ Unfortunately, this is often violated.³




    1. Sophia. Civil Liberties and Due Process Tutorial. Retrieved May 13, 2014, from http://www.sophia.org/tutorials/civil-liberties-and-due-process

    2. American Civil Liberties Union. Due Process. Retrieved May 13, 2014, from https://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/due-process

    3. American Civil Liberties Union. Due Process & Criminal Justice. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from https://acluva.org/tag/due-process-criminal-justice/

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    Criminal Investigation Objectives

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