Ruling that the Fifth Amendment requirement for a grand jury indictment is not binding on the states, the Supreme Court interpreted the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as a requirement for “fundamental principles of liberty and justice.”
Joseph Hurtado was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. In conformity with the California state constitution, he was never indicted by a grand jury, but his trial was initiated by the prosecutor’s filing a statement of information. Appealing the conviction, Hurtado argued that the lack of a grand jury violated the procedural requirements of the Fifth Amendment as well as the common law.
In his opinion in the Hurtado case, Justice Stanley Matthews assumed that the meaning of "due process" was the same in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
By a 7-1 vote, the Supreme Court rejected Hurtado’s argument. Justice Stanley Matthews
Barron v. Baltimore
Due process, procedural