"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man,
by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
1789 in correspondence to Thomas Paine
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Milous Ford, Murray Ky.      
Great words from a great man. We need more people of his caliber at the helm of our nation in the 21st century.
 -- KS., Somewhere,USA.     
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    How few Americans understand this today? The answer is scary.
     -- Peter, Port Huron     
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    Why on Earth would people give the best anchor Liberty and the Constitution have, trial by jury/jury nullification, a measly 4 stars?
     -- RC, Every town in the USA     
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    Interesting....Jefferson had an amazing sense for liberty. I believe him to have been a great man, and I don't care for the accusations against him or his morality.
     -- Ben, Orem, UT     
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    WOW ! ! ! that I could but rate a thousand times on this one. It is REALLY scary how so few Americans understand the depth, breadth, height, etc. of what the Constitution is, what it was/is for, what it was based on, what it was/is to accomplish, and otherwise what it was/is all about and, what the law of nature or of nature's God really is, AND, how the individual sovereign's jury was an ultimate check and balance. Welcome to the dummied down Union of Socialist Amerika where the statist theocracy reigns supreme.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Jury nullification is the last hope against bad law. Many lawyers have no idea what it is or means. Shame.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Unfortunately, other members of our government have devised effective means of preventing the criminals within its ranks from ever coming to trial. We are on a lee shore and our anchor is dragging
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
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    No we see the purpose of the jury judging the facts yes, but the law as well as to it's constitutionality.
     -- Anon     
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    This statement is only true when you have an anchor based upon absolute truth. The judicial system throughout the years has been able however, to continuously erode the strengths of the Constitution until it is almost just a piece of paper. Those that made and signed the Constitution believed in absolute truth based upon God's Word, the Bible and used that as an anchor both for the Constitution, our country, and their conscience. Without the Bible as a balance to weigh our actions, "everyone does what is right in his own eyes." Truth is decided by man and by what we "feel" is right and is therefore watered down to whoever can sway a jury to what he wants them to believe b/c our consciences are seared from our continually pathetic actions.
     -- Kraig E., Austin     
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     -- Waffler, Smith      
    I love the sentiment but its not reality
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Twelve people who have gone through a Voir Dire and acting in a jury is closer to perfection than one person making a decision. What if that one person's judgement fails to comply with the Constitution? Jefferson is correct, as always, for ever, and those who gave him less than 5 stars, how dare you? Well, it's your freedom, you show your error of reason.
     -- Elisabeth&Anthony, Astoria, NY     
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    This is the People's final check against the government. BTW, you would never make it on a jury if the judge or lawyers discovered that you knew that jurors have the right and obligation to judge both LAW and fact.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I think that many of these comments are by people that are unaware of how weakened the concept of jury nullification has become. Article: The Constitutional Jury LINK http://i-voter.tripod.com/ConstitutionalJury.html
     -- J. Stewart     
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