We are born to Justice and Due Process

In 2010, research was carried out by a team led by Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University in Connecticut in the US, and used the ability to differentiate between unhelpful and helpful behavior as their indicator of moral judgement. The results contradict the theories of Sigmund Freud and others, who thought human beings start out as “amoral animals”, or a moral blank state. Bloom said there is mounting scientific evidence that this may not be true and that “some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.”
In one experiment babies between six and ten months old were repeatedly shown a puppet show featuring wooden shapes with eyes. A red ball attempts to climb a hill and is aided at times by a yellow triangle that helps it up the hill by getting behind it and pushing. At other times the red ball is forced back down the hill by a blue square. After watching the puppet show at least six times the babies were asked to choose a character. An overwhelming majority (over 80%) chose the helpful figure. Prof. Bloom said it was not a subtle statistical trend as “just about all the babies reached for the good guy.” Lead author of the study, Kiley Hamlin, said people worry a lot about teaching children the difference between good guys and bad guys but “this might be something that infants come to the world with.”

Sails that power ships were invented because of air movement. It is logical to assume that there would be no inspiration to do so if wind had not first existed to be gathered.

The point that is drawn here in both the baby study and the sails is that something needs to be to be built upon. Take a man accused of some wrongdoing and subject him to trial without representation. He is not allowed to bring forth witnesses on his own behalf nor challenge his accuser’s claim. However, his accuser is ably represented with a full legal contingent at his disposal with no restrictions on how his case against the accused is presented. Any one of us would not relish to be in his shoes at that moment. Considering what we have discussed above in the Yale study of babies, a red flag would rise for us because of a disregard for our innate understanding of right and wrong, fair play and justice. The legal system in the U.S.A. is based upon this innate understanding. And when we see anything other we regard it as unjust, un-American and therefore illegitimate. That inborn knowledge had to first exist in order to develop a legal system to compliment it. If we were born to be unjustly treated with no inclination toward right over wrong, then no one would object to the one-way trial described above. And abusive behavior would be the acceptive norm.

Our true nature as human beings is in our DNA. We either adhere to Natural Laws or the Law of the Jungle where “might makes right”. The former is the rule and the latter is the exception. But, we do have free wills. And we can do what we should or what we want. In that, dangerous scenarios abide. For when power is placed in the wrong hands, meaning those who chose to do wrong, then things get flip-flopped. Former and latter are reversed. The exepction then becomes the rule. Power does not corrupt. It sometimes just falls into corrupt hands. That is when a just due process is rendered impotent and in its place is found a kangaroo court process of injustice where the proof  of guilt is no longer the burden of the accuser but rather the proof of innocence is the burden of the accused. If one were to resist a fair due process and thereby impede the investigation, one would be considered to be obstructing justice. But, if one is denied rightful due process and in like manner resists an illegitimate process can one be considered to be obstructing injustice? What penalty can there be in this instance when the process is in violation itself.

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law.

Due process is accorded to all American citizens and deservedly so by human birthright. Whether one be the President of the United States or the common man and woman. When one is violated then all are violated.


About Alan A. Malizia: Contagious Optimism! Co-Author

Retired mathematics teacher and high school athletics coach. Honors: 1988 Ct. Coach of the Year for H.S. Girls Voleyball and 2007 Inducted into the Ct. Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame. Since retiring have written two books; "The Little Red Chair," an autobiography about my life experience as a polio survivor and "A View From The Quiet Corner," a selection of poems and reflections. Presently I am a contributing author for the "Life Carrots" series primarily authored by Dave Mezzapelle of Goliathjobs.com.
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