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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9396
Experience:  Since 1983
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In what ways have our historic roots affected the manner in

Resolved Question:

In what ways have our historic roots affected the manner in which criminal investigations are conducted in the United States today?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 8 years ago.
One good example is these Magna Carta sections, from http://www.britannia.com/history/docs/magna2.html

39. No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed--nor will we go upon or send upon him--save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

40. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.


That phrase "the law of the land" is what the Americans call "due process of law". People have rights to privacy against the government that have historical roots in Magna Carta, and some have even older roots.

For most of its history, California Penal Code 836 stated:
836. (a) A peace officer may arrest a person in obedience to a
warrant, or, pursuant to the authority granted to him or her by
Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2,
without a warrant, may arrest a person whenever any of the following
circumstances occur:
(1) The officer has probable cause to believe that the person to
be arrested has committed a public offense in the officer's presence.
(2) The person arrested has committed a felony, although not in
the officer's presence.
(3) The officer has probable cause to believe that the person to
be arrested has committed a felony, whether or not a felony, in fact,
has been committed.

The law of the land requires that a person not be arrested for a misdemeanor not committed in the officer's prersence, and that was the law of the land in 1215 in Britain as it is today in almost all common law jurisdictions. This is a substantive due process right, not to be arrested for a misdemeanor based on hearsay to an officer.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I wasn't thinking about going back quite that far - more about the 1750's, 1800's, 1900's time frame, the RAND and PERF studies, the creation of the FBI and what affect they had in the way we do things today in criminal justice.