"The jury has the right to judge both the law
as well as the fact in controversy."
by:
John Jay
(1745-1829) first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, First President of the United States - preceding George Washington, one of three men most responsible for the US Constitution
Source:
in the unanimous Supreme Court decision to uphold the jurors verdict of not guilty in Georgia v. Brailsford, 1794
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_v._Brailsford_%281794%29
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Reader comments about this quote:
Unfortunately, if you mention that in a court room today, you will be held in contempt, and the jury will be asked by the judge to disregard the statement. The jury is the last defense against the tyranny of the legislature.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    What is this about John Jay preceding George Washington as president of the USA? Bill
     -- Bill, Dallas, Texas     
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    I know people who have persisted with this quote in an overall strategy and spent jail time for it. Hmmmm. The de facto oligarchy has rendered the Republic and constitution that stood therefore dead with the government thereof a mob of immoral rule, not law. The quote identifies liberty and its government as a forgotten entity of the past.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I wonder how many jurors know this? I didn't know this. This would make for a more fair Court Trial System if all jurors knew this.
     -- me again     
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    Bill: John Jay was not the first President of the U.S. as stated above. He was the first President of the Continental Congress that was similar in effect to the succeeding executive office. *Note; the county sheriff sat in the place of today's judges in certain early common law courts. He acted to keep order and decorum by enforcing procedural law. The twelve jurors were the judges deciding fact and law. The judges of today have morphed into a three-in-one office (robed priests now operate executively, legislatively, and judicially, contrary to the constitution and founder's intent.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike & Bill: After the revolution, the colonies were then called 'the united States of America'. The US Constitution had not yet been ratified; however, John Jay was the first President of the newly independent united States. So technically, he was the 1st president of the newly independent confederation - the united States of America. And, yes, the county sheriff was the highest office in a county -- it is still supposed to be except that Washington, D.C. has overlaid their own jurisdiction over that of the States -- highly unconstitutional but without a real money system based on common law, all holders of the promissory notes (subject to the jurisdiction of commercial law) are subject to the rules and conditions of those notes. We are free to enter into contracts, and once contracted, we are bound to the terms of those agreements -- and that is in the jurisprudence of commercial law -- the uniform commercial code. Had we kept our freedom, our actions, our property, and our rights we would be protected under the common law with the sheriff and jury as our arbitrators.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    THIS PRINCIPLE IS PERHAPS THE 'BEST-HIDDEN' FACT BY THE JUDICIARY; A TRAGIC BETRAYAL OF JURORS.
     -- Al Baxter, Rancho PV, CA     
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    Hmmm, so I suppose not letting them read newspapers, or ever have read a newspaper is wrong by John Jay's account? Locking them up during the trial and stuff.
     -- Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco Buday, Vancouver, GVRD(Paine Cnty), Coastal Lwr Mainland BC(State of Neo Sumer), U.S. of Eh!     
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    When I am called for jury duty, I usually state that it would be for the benefit of all if I were excused, since I would vote against the majority. No one has held me in contempt, although I am in contempt of court, or courts, and say so. I say that I do not believe in the integrity of the system, or in the word of police witnesses, who, I say, I have known to lie under oath. No one finds me in contempt. Hmm....imagine that. If called to serve on a jury, I would never think to do other than judge the law first, and the fact later.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    One giant foopa in the 'bound to agreement' argument is when the contract is unlawful ab initio (unconstitutional). When the agreement is unconstitutional (no matter the de facto power asserted), it is unenforceable on either party as though the agreement had never been made. By way of example: if two people contract to rob a bank and one chooses to abstain. The remaining bandit can not sue the abstainee for breech of contract. The agreement was unlawful ab initio. When one is forced to use an unlawful monetary system to live, any agreement alluded to is unlawful and constitutionally unenforceable.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    A, P.S. to my above statement; If the two thieves carry out the contract, both are criminals. The same is true when one would knowingly participate (not out of neccessity) in an unlawful activity with the de facto power, both are criminals
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Where is the proof he ever said this? What writing is it from? Was it said, if actually said, before, during,or after he was Chief Justice? Was it just his opinion, as a private citizen, or an individual Justice, or did he write this in an opinion of the Court. I challenge that he ever said or wrote this, and if he did, it was not the opinion of the Court. If I'm right on either count, that it is a false quote, or just the opinion of one person, then it is meaningless. One person does not decide the ruling of the SCOTUS.
     -- Bob, Laytown     
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    The reality of citizen Power revealed by Jay's quote should be the subject of mandatory study in secondary schools everywhere in the US - then practiced by jurors daily in every courthouse in the land. For Laytown's Bob: The "proof" behind the quote is its source - a majority opinion published by the Supreme Court in 1794, authored by John Jay. Check:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_v._Brailsford_%281794%29
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    When one breaks a law I feel it is the juror's responsibility to consider the circumstances involved.
     -- Cal, lewisville, TX     
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    The last time I was called for jury duty I wrote in that I would convict no one of anything until the nation returned to a system of justice. Someone named Mujibar said I was excused from service.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    It's called Jury Nullification. You can nullify bad law by simply voting not guilty. No judge will ever tell any jury about this.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Hey, Carlton, next time you are called to jury duty (which is probably doubtful now) SERVE on the jury and perhaps save the poor wretch that is being railroaded. Potential jurors should never tell the court that he knows about jury nullification -- that way they guarantee the racket continues. The judge is there to confirm that there is a law under which the defendant is charged (and therefore not being tried arbitrarily) but he won't tell the jury about 'nullification' because that would cut into his business. But what else is a jury for if not to nullify a few laws from time to time? Otherwise all you need is a judge to decide the matter, right?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Not a bad thought Archer. I'm not sure if Canada has those sort of checks and balances built into the legal system though. Probably, but like the US they're sure not going to tell people about it.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Since the Chief Justice helped write the Constitution and was an expert on it (according to Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Anabaptists), we should defer to his words. But it is true, to openly state this in a court room is to disqualify oneself from duty.

    However, that does not mean the people cannot judiciously execute this right as E Archer has written.
     -- Ann H, MS     
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    12 Jurist. considered one of the most perfect numbers, 12, at natural law. divine order observed within the natural laws of physics. Just coincidence, NOT.
    12 is the number of Divine Government within Hebrew natural law.
    Sabr, who returns as in a circle. as stated in the stars above. understanding lost, understanding returns as in a circle. " Saad Al Sund ", who goeth and returneth. Now consider Article V and the number of death, that adds a new twist to the polymaths observation of natural law used in government.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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