The “Equal Protection” clause outlined in in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution affords people or particular groups of people equal protection from discrimination by the state in which they reside. Equal Protection also provides that no state shall deny to any person or group within its jurisdiction the right to Equal Protection of the laws. A perfect example of Equal Protection is Supreme Court landmark case Brown vs. Board of Education. In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation of white and black students in a public school was unconstitutional. The Equal Protection clause alone only applies the local government within a state. From a law enforcement perspective, “Racial Profiling” laws would be equivalent the Equal Protection clause. Racial Profiling is the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.
Substantive due process is a judicial interpretation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments’ due process clause that protects citizens from arbitrary or unjust laws. Basically Substantive due process means the rules do not apply or the rules are unreasonable. From a law enforcement perspective, Substantive due process is used to determine whether a crime has been committed, define what charges may apply and decide whether the evidence supports the charges. Let’s say a person is caught driving under the influence of alcohol (DWI). Substantive due process concludes that it is a crime punishable by a term in prison. The substance of charges or elements of a crime, must be carefully be evaluated to determine whether a crime really exists. In other words, specific facts need to be proven true in order to convict somebody of a crime which in this case is DWI. If a person is caught driving while intoxicated, a few things would have to be proven. One was the person driving the vehicle, two did the person actions or demeanor lead the police officer to believe that this person was intoxicated and did the person fail sobriety test and or breathe test.
Procedural due process provides that the government may not deprive people of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Basically Procedural due process are the rules that the people in charge must follow. From a law enforcement perspective, there are procedures for managing situations when a person is accused of a crime. Interrogating a person under arrest for a crime without advising them of their Miranda Rights would be an equivalent example of Procedural due process. It is required by law that prior questioning a person in custody about a crime, he or she must be advised of their right to remain silent and right to an attorney which are outlined in the Fifth Amendment and Six Amendments to the Constitution.