Our western criminal justice system is at its core one of laws, not of men. The supremacy of law is deliberate. Man’s passions are fickle, prone to capricious reaction, and oftentimes unmeasured during times of stress and uncertainty. Steadfastness in the rule of law allows society to weather such perilous times rather than careen from one crisis to another.
The rule of law—and by proxy the legitimacy of the criminal justice system—is rooted firmly in unflinching adherence to the formal procedure as a manifestation of our founding principles. The presumption of innocence, entitlement to a jury of one’s peers, the state bearing the high burden of proof, and the sanctity of property rights are representative of our revolutionary inheritance, direct responses to the atrocities endured at the orders of George III and Santa Anna. These procedural elements ensure that the end result of the criminal process is just.