Due process clause on courthouse serves as reminder to all who enter

Have you ever stopped at the traffic light on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 10th Street West in downtown Bradenton and looked up at the Manatee County Judicial Center? Inscribed along the building’s south side is a Latin phrase that says:

Neu quemquam vita libertate bonis privanto nisi rite secundum leges cognitum erit …

This is an image of the south side of Manatee County Judicial Center, which features the due process clause in Latin

Which means:

Nor shall any person be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

Several phrases were voted on by Twelfth Judicial Circuit judges while the building was being erected in 2006-2007. The seals of Manatee County, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, and the incorported city governments throughout the county adorn the building in addition to the phrase.

The phrase is a portion of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (the phrase appears again in the 14th Amendment, Section 1). Here’s the complete Fifth Amendment:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The words inscribed on the judicial center serve as a reminder to everyone who enters – judges, attorneys, litigants, court employees and the public – of the court’s mission to make justice accessible, fair, effective, responsive and accountable by upholding a system of rules that are equally applied to all.

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