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The Origins Of The Bill Of Rights

1676 words - 7 pages

Unlike the first four amendments, the Fifth and Sixth Amendment is constructed of numerous parts. The First Amendment also contained several aspects, but is centered on protecting freedom of expression, and government interference in the right of conscience. Both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments are designed to protect the rights of a person accused of committing a crime, however the Fifth Amendment includes a clause concerning eminent domain.

Many of the aspects of both Fifth and Sixth Amendments have direct ties to tyrannical practices of the British during Colonial rule, just as the other amendments in the Bill of Rights. The lack of due process in Colonial times has a long history and affects more than just the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. The lack of due process also is apparent in the Fourth Amendment as a result of the Writ of Assistance to broad unspecific search warrants (The Origins of the Bill of Rights (Part 3: British Tyranny, the Fourth Amendment)).

Fifth Amendment

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

CLAUSE 1 and 3

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger.

nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

The root of these two clause can be traced to the Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission used from 1487-1641, though the Star Chamber has roots going back many years before 1487. The Court of Star Chamber would become a powerful court under King Henry VIII, and in 1478 became a separate judicial body from the King's Council with the mandate to hear petitions of redress. The initial concept of the Star Chamber was to act as a type of appellate court, to oversee the operations of the Lower Courts. During the Tudor Dynasty (1485-1603, King Henry VIII was the first Tudor monarch) the mandate of the Court was changed and expanded to include instances of "public disorder".

Initially with the Court of Star Chamber, the court would review petitions of equity in property, corruption of public officials and land disputes, as an appeal from a lower court. However King Henry VIII and his councilors encouraged the plaintiffs to bypass lower courts and...

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