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|Therefore, the jury have the power of deciding an issue upon a general verdict. And, if they have, is it not an absurdity to suppose that the law would oblige them to find a verdict according to the direction of the court, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience? ... [I]s a juror to give his verdict generally, according to [the judge’s] direction, or even to find the fact specially, and submit the law to the court? Every man, of any feeling or conscience, will answer, no. It is not only his right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.
|And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
|Chief Judge David L. Bazelon
|My own view rests on the premise that nullification can and should serve an important function in the criminal process ... The doctrine permits the jury to bear on the criminal process a sense of fairness and particularized justice ... The drafters of legal rules cannot anticipate and take account of every case where a defendant’s conduct is “unlawful” but not blameworthy, any more than they can draw a bold line to mark the boundary between an accident and negligence. It is the jury -- as spokesmen for the community’s sense of values -- that must explore that subtle and elusive boundary. ... I do not see any reason to assume that jurors will make rampantly abusive use of their power. Trust in the jury is, after all, one of the cornerstones of our entire criminal jurisprudence, and if that trust is without foundation we must reexamine a great deal more than just the nullification doctrine.
|David L. Bazelon
|Nullification is not a "defense" recognized by law, but rather a mechanism that permits a jury, as community conscience, to disregard the strict requirements of law where it finds that those requirements cannot justly be applied in a particular case.
|Justice Hugo L. Black
|The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis
|Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches
and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis
|Ways may someday be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home.
|My liberty is not for sale.
|“Due process,” a standard that arose in our system of law and stemmed from the desire to provide rational procedure and fair play, is equally indispensable in every other kind of social or political enterprise.
|William J. Campbell
|Today the grand jury is the total captive of the prosecutor who, if he is candid, will concede that he can indict anybody, at any time, for almost anything, before any grand jury.
|How many crimes are permitted simply because their authors could not endure being wrong.
|The law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.
|The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.
|The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.
|Sir Winston Churchill
|The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.
|We must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, Trial by Jury, and the English common law, find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.
|The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charges known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments...Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilisation.
|It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.
|It depends on what the meaning of the word is. If the– if he– if "is" means is and never has been, that is not– that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.... Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.
|By freethinking I mean the use of the understanding in endeavoring to find out the meaning of any proposition whatsoever, in considering the nature of the evidence for or against, and in judging of it according to the seeming force or weakness of the evidence.
|In all criminal cases whatsoever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.
|Constitution of the United States
|No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury... nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any Criminal Case to be a witness against himself, not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
|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.
|M. Kristine Creagan
|The impact of Zenger [the trial of John Zenger] on the American colonies was dramatic. Every jurisdiction which confronted the issue of the jury’s right to decide the law as well as the facts reached the same conclusion: American juries had the right to decide the law.
|M. Kristine Creagan
|Jury nullification is a doctrine based on the concept that “jurors have the inherent right to set aside the instructions of the judge and to reach a verdict of acquittal based upon their own consciences, and the defendant has the right to be so instructed.” Though jury nullification may seem like a shocking proposal today, it is by no means a new idea. In fact, jury nullification was first espoused nearly three and one half centuries ago.
|Sir Patrick Devlin
|The object of any tyrant would be to overthrow or diminish trial by jury, for it is the lamp that shows that freedom lives.
|Finley Peter Dunne
|An appeal is when you ask one court to show its contempt for another court.
|A criminal trial is not a search for truth. It is much too circumscribed for that. Rather, a trial is a formalized contest for the hearts and minds of a panel of twelve. It is a quest for a verdict in which information is selected and screened (we can almost say “processed”) before it is allowed to reach jurors.
|Sir John Fortescue
|I should, indeed, prefer twenty men to escape death through mercy, than one innocent to be condemned unjustly.
|Every attempt to gag the free expression of thought is an unsocial act against society. That is why judges and juries who try to enforce such laws make themselves ridiculous.
|Ours is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system – a system in which the state must establish guilt by evidence independently and freely secured and may not by coercion prove its charge against an accused out of his own mouth.
|Kane & Miller Friedenthal
|The right of juries to decide questions of law was widely accepted in the colonies, especially in criminal cases. Prior to 1850, the judge and jury were viewed as partners in many jurisdictions. The jury could decide questions of both law and fact, and the judge helped guide the decision-making process by comments on the witnesses and the evidence. Legal theory and political philosophy emphasized the importance of the Jury in divining natural law, which was thought to be a better source for decision than the “authority of black letter maxim.” Since natural law was accessible to lay people, it was held to be the duty of each juror to determine for himself whether a particular rule of law embodied the principles of the higher natural law. Indeed, it was argued that the United States Constitution embodied a codification of natural rights so that “the reliance by the jury on a higher law was usually viewed as a constitutional judgment.”
|A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
|I do encourage you to question authority, apply logic, and think for yourself. Look at the forest, not the trees. And the centuries, not the months. Or you might risk being lead willingly, as a sheep, to the slaughter.
|[T]he jury shall be the judges of the law and the facts in the trial of all criminal cases and shall give a general verdict of “guilty,” or “not guilty.”
|Georgia Supreme Court
|[That] the Jury may determine the law and the fact of the case, has been supported by every English judge, except Chief Justice Jeffries .... And to their credit be it spoken that the Juries have always been right on fundamental questions of liberty and popular right.
|Georgia Supreme Court
|[T]he Jury have not only the power, but the right, to pass upon the law as well as the facts...
|Georgia, Declaration of Rights
|The jury in all criminal cases, shall be the judges of the law and the facts.
|Justice William C. Goodle
|Jury Nullification encourages participation in the judicial process, which in turn furthers the legitimization of the legal system. Jury Nullification also serves to inject community values and standards into the administration of our laws. Ordinary citizens are given the chance to infuse community values into the judicial process in the interests of fairness and justice and at the same time provide a signal to lawmakers that they have drifted too far from the Democratic will... History is replete with examples that Jury Nullification serves as a corrective “veto” power of the people over both legislative and judicial rigidity and tyranny.
|Voir dire was supposed to guarantee the defendant a fair and neutral jury, but instead they’re using it to “clean up” the juries (and get rid of) those opposed to the court’s policies. They don’t want an independent jury. They believe it’s their jury. ... [T]he way they’re using voir dire now, starts jurors thinking, “Is there anything that would make me hesitate to convict?”
|It is far more rational to suppose that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority.
|Jurors should acquit, even against the judge’s instruction ... if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong.
|I know, may it please your honour, the jury may do so; but I do likewise know they may do otherwise. I know they have the right, beyond all dispute, to determine both the law and the fact; and where they do not doubt the law, they ought to do so. This of leaving it to the judgment of the Court whether the words are libelous or not in effect renders juries useless (to say no worse) in many cases.
|Why do we love this trial by jury? Because it prevents the hand of oppression from cutting you off ... This gives me comfort—that, as long as I have existence, my neighbors will protect me.