“Rights of Accused”
Dr. Richard Freeman, Ph.D.
POL110062VA016-1134-001: U.S. Government
The rights of the accused go as far back as the civil war. States in America at the time before the war had no laws regarding what and how a state can treat their citizens. Including, the Constitution of the United States, which made no mention of any laws or rules that would govern the states on how they would interact with their citizens with regards to legal matters. This all changed, soon after the civil war with the ratification of the 14th Amendment, partly to ban slavery and for the protection of newly freed slaves. which stated that, no state could deprive a person of life, liberty or property (later known as “the pursuit of happiness”), without due process of law.
Wilson, J. (2009). American government: Brief edition, ninth edition. (p. 33). Boston, MA: WadsWorth Cengage Learning Academic Resource Center.
For many years after the Constitution was signed, the rights protected by it and the
Bill of Rights affected only the national government. The Supreme Court made this
clear in a case (Barron v. Baltimore) decided in 1833.1 Except for Article I, which,
among other things, banned ex post facto laws and guaranteed the right of habeas
corpus,* the Constitution was silent on what states could do to their residents.
This began to change after the Civil War when new amendments were added to
the Constitution in order to ban slavery and protect newly freed slaves. The Four-
teenth Amendment, ratiﬁed in 1868, was the most important. It said that no state
shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”
(known as the due-process clause) and that no state shall “deny to any person
within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (known as the equal
During the time, and thereafter the ratification of the 14th Amendment, there emerged other...