What is the difference between the fundamental fairness doctrine and the incorporation clause?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The difference is that the fundamental fairness doctrine simply says that states have to treat accused criminals fairly while the doctrine of incorporation says that states must adhere to the Bill of Rights.  In this way, the incorporation doctrine is much more specific.  The fundamental fairness doctrine is fairly nebulous since it just says that states have to be fair.  The meaning of that particular word is in no way clear in all cases.  By contrast, the doctrine of incorporation is clearer because it specifically states that the states must abide by the provisions of the Bill of Rights.