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Case Basics
Location: Street Corner
Facts of the Case 

The State of California tried and convicted Hurtado on an information for murder. An information is a written set of accusations made by a prosecutor. Hurtado maintained that California denied him an indictment by a grand jury. A grand jury indictment is based on majority vote of the grand jurors on presentation by the prosecutor.


Does a state criminal proceeding based on an information rather than a grand jury indictment violate the 14th Amendment's due process clause?


No, this was not a violation of due process. Any legal proceeding that protects liberty and justice is due process. The majority opinion, authored by Matthews, reasoned that the Constitution cannot be locked into static conceptions bound by time and place. The Court also took the position that nothing in the Constitution is superfluous. Since the Fifth Amendment contains both a guarantee of grand jury proceedings and a guarantee of due process, the latter cannot embrace the former.

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HURTADO v. CALIFORNIA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
HURTADO v. CALIFORNIA, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"HURTADO v. CALIFORNIA," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,