Learn how you can help ensure that the principle of due process endures this crisis
The People cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
The People have a right to a fair and impartial grand jury.
The People must have notice of the laws before they can be criminally charged or punished for violating them.
Due Process Institute works on the federal and state levels to support meaningful 5th Amendment protections.
Due Process Institute supports your 5th Amendment rights in America's courts.
Interested in learning more about about your 5th Amendment rights?
This important protection covers a number of important procedural rules in criminal cases, including the right to prompt hearings after seizure of property through civil forfeiture.
We fight to support your right to fair procedures and believe that civil asset forfeiture should be abolished or severely limited in use.
In addition to the issues listed above, the 5th Amendment also guards against the perils of double jeopardy and self-incrimination--rights we support.
To meet Constitutional muster, the function of the grand jury must return to its original purpose: as a meaningful check on governmental power. Instead, in most places it has become a tool to enhance prosecutorial power.
Certain commonsense reforms could restore the grand jury function to something closer to what our Founding generation intended, including: making transcripts of grand jury proceedings public after indictment and requiring prosecutors to reveal known exculpatory evidence to grand jurors.
Our criminal laws must avoid overly broad or vague terms that can be interpreted in inconsistent or unfair ways against someone who could be accused of violating those laws and it also means our criminal laws should require a meaningful level of "criminal intent" so that they are only applying to people who are purposefully violating those laws. It is also important that we don't have so many criminal laws that is is essentially impossible to know what is lawful and what is not. Because our Founding Generation believed that it was important our Constitution grant protection against wrongful or unfair criminal prosecutions, our criminal legal code must reflect these values.
To ensure that we all have constitutionally adequate notice of criminal laws before anyone's life or liberty is substantially limited for violating such laws, Due Process Institute's work is guided by the following principles: