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Due Process of Law & Habeas Corpus

"No one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of Law."

Due Process of Law means that before any officer of the law can force any punishment or penalty upon you for the alleged committing of a crime there needs to be an Article 3 Court hearing on the matter to INSURE that a crime has actually been committed.

Habeas Corpus is a writ issued to bring a party before a court to prevent unlawful restraint. The basic premise behind Habeas Corpus is that you cannot be held against your will without just cause. To put it another way, you cannot be jailed if there are no charges against you. If you are being held, and you demand it, the courts must issue a Writ of Habeas Corpus which forces those holding you to answer as to why they are doing so. If there is no good or compelling reason, the court must set you free. It is important to note that of all the civil liberties we take for granted today as a part of the Bill of Rights, the importance of Habeas Corpus is illustrated by the fact that it was the sole liberty thought important enough to be included in the original text of the Constitution.

Generally, Due Process of Law guarantees the following (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Right to a fair and public trial conducted in a competent manner.
  • Right to be present at the trial.
  • Right to an impartial jury of one's peers.
  • Right to be heard in one's own defense.
  • Laws must be written so that a reasonable person can understand what is criminal behavior.
  • Owners of taken property must be fairly compensated.