Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Court has held that practically all the criminal procedural guarantees of the Bill of Rights – the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments – are fundamental to state criminal justice systems and that the absence of one or the other particular guarantees denies a suspect or a defendant due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment. 1 In addition, the Court has held that the Due Process Clause protects against practices and policies that violate precepts of fundamental fairness, 2 even if they do not violate specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights. 3 The standard query in such cases is whether the challenged practice or policy violates
a fundamental principle of liberty and justice which inheres in the very idea of a free government and is the inalienable right of a citizen of such government. 4
This inquiry contains a historical component, as
recent cases . . . have proceeded upon the valid assumption that state criminal processes are not imaginary and theoretical schemes but actual systems bearing virtually every characteristic of the common-law system that has been developing contemporaneously in England and in this country. The question thus is whether given this kind of system a particular procedure is fundamental – whether, that is, a procedure is necessary to an Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty. . . . [Therefore, the limitations imposed by the Court on the states are] not necessarily fundamental to fairness in every criminal system that might be imagined but [are] fundamental in the context of the criminal processes maintained by the American States. 5