Due process under the law has been constitutionally protected since our nation began, although the phrase gets tossed around quite a bit these days without much concern as to its real importance.
Due process is protected by the 5th (federal) and 14th (state) Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, although it is a principle with origins in the Magna Carta. In that historic document, England’s King John promised that “…[n]o free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.”
King John signed the Magna Carta over 790 years ago. You’d think that due process of law would be pretty much settled into a traditional, solid role in our society by now. Particularly so, when it comes to those officials in positions of authority. But if you think that, you’d be wrong.
Due Process of Law is endangered in this country.
Never has our sacred right to due process under the law been more endangered than it is today. And no – I’m not about to delve into the current Florida case concerning a young woman awaiting trial for the murder of her child.
Instead, I’m looking over at our sister state, Texas, and what’s been going on over there since the afternoon of September 26, 2007.
Texas Chief Justice Faces Criminal Charges, Civil Trial, and Impeachment Arising From Death Penalty Case
Criminal charges were recently filed against Sharon Keller, the Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, by Texans for Public Justice for her actions on the day that Michael Richard was executed by lethal injection. (In Texas, the Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court for all criminal matters; the state divides its civil and criminal caseloads, and has a separate high court, the Texas Supreme Court, which hears all civil matters as the state court of last resort.)
Continue Reading Texas Chief Justice Sharon Keller’s Lesson to Us All About Due Process