Jury Quotes / Quotations 

Famous Quotes and Quotations about Jury

Jury Quotes 51-100 out of 102
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It is left, therefore, to the juries, if they think the permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges, and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States, that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors; that there are certain portions of right not necessary to enable them to carry on an effective government, and which experience has nevertheless proved they will be constantly encroaching on, if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious against wrong, and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion; of the second, trial by jury, habeas corpus laws, free presses.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
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.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
The failure to instruct jurors on their power to nullify also raises constitutional concerns. The right to a jury actually exists as part of a constitutional framework designed to protect defendants from potential government abuse. The Sixth Amendment states, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a ... public trial by an impartial jury. ...” The Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial is “fundamental to the American scheme of justice,’ acting as a safeguard against the government. This constitutional safeguard is achieved through the “participation of the community in determinations of guilt and by the application of the common sense of laymen who, as jurors, consider the case.”
more Robert E. Korroch quotes
The jury possesses a general veto power and may acquit when it has no sympathy for the Government’s case, no matter how overwhelming the evidence of guilt. A jury acquittal is final and unreviewable; a judge may not direct a jury to convict or vacate an acquittal, nor may a prosecutor appeal an acquittal on grounds of judicial error or erroneous jury determination.
more Lieutenant Commander Robert E. Korroch quotes
Let no man think we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves. When zealous agents of the Government arrest suspected “radicals” without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail....we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity...
more Robert M. Lafollette, Sr. quotes
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.
more Abraham Lincoln quotes
To say that subjects in general are not proper judges (of the law) when their governors oppress them and play the tyrant, and when they defend their rights ...is as great a treason as ever a man uttered... (more)
more Jonathan Mayhew quotes
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
more H. L. Mencken quotes
Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.
more John Stuart Mill quotes
Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.
more James Monroe quotes
In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law, and the facts under the direction of the Court as to the law, and the right of new trials as in civil cases.
more Oregon Constitution quotes
If a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states, then the juror has accepted the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered a power and right that once was the citizen's safeguard of liberty.
more Justice Theophilus Parsons quotes
If a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states, then the juror has accepted the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered a power and right that once was the citizen's safeguard of liberty.
more Justice Theophilus Parsons quotes
But, sir, the people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal of arms. An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; and any man may be justified in his resistance. Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation.
more Theophilus Parsons quotes
Congress has doubled the IRS budget over the past 10 years -- making that agency one of the fastest growing non-entitlement programs. It has increased its employment by 20 percent. The IRS’s powers to investigate and examine taxpayers transcend those of any other law enforcement agency. Virtually all of the constitutional rights regarding search and seizure, due process, and jury trial simply do not apply to the IRS.
more Daniel Pilla quotes
The power of nullification plays an important role in the criminal justice system. ... Because an accused criminal is restricted in the defenses he or she can raise, the law recognizes only certain defenses and justification, and correspondingly, limited evidence. The jury’s power to nullify provides an accommodation between the rigidity of the law and the need to hear and respond to positions that do not fit legal pigeonholes, such as claims of spousal abuse before the battered-spouse syndrome received acceptance. Jury nullification permits the jury to respond to a position that does not have the status of a legally recognized defense. The power to nullify guarantees that the jury is free to speak as the conscience of the community.
more Anne Bowen Poulin quotes
It is clear in our criminal justice system that the jury has the power to nullify -- that is, the power to acquit or to convict on reduced charges despite overwhelming evidence against the defendant. ... In a criminal trial, the court cannot direct a verdict of guilty, no matter how strong the evidence. In addition, if the jury acquits, double jeopardy bars the prosecution from appealing the verdict or seeking retrial. Similarly, if the jury convicts the defendant of a less serious offense than the one charged, the prosecution cannot again try the defendant on the more serious charge. This result occurs regardless of whether the jury consciously rejects the law, embraces a merciful attitude, or is simply confused concerning the law or facts. Thus, nullification -- with or without authority, intended or not -- is part of our system.
more Anne Bowen Poulin quotes
Sovereignty inheres in the right to issue money. And the American sovereignty belongs by right to the people, and their representatives in Congress have the right to issue money and to determine the value thereof. And 120 million, 120 million suckers have lamentably failed to insist on the observation of this quite decided law. ... Now the point at which embezzlement of the nation's funds on the part of her officers becomes treason can probably be decided only by jurists, and not by hand-picked judges who support illegality.
more Ezra Pound quotes
Jury lawlessness is the greatest corrective of law in its actual administration.
more Roscoe Pound quotes
[N]o American should retreat an inch on the right of jurors to acquit if they perceive the law or its administration to be unjust.
more Charley Reese quotes
One of the greatest problems that we as a free people face today is that for the past 100 years trial judges in the U.S. have routinely misinformed jurors that they were bound to accept the judge’s opinion of what the law is; which law to apply; and whether or not they had to find a defendant guilty. In so doing these judges have welded shut this all important safety valve, which our Founders so wisely provided our society -- and the result has been an explosive one.
more Mike Robbins quotes
'Liar' is just as ugly a word as 'thief,' because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin in one case as in the other. If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law.
more Theodore Roosevelt quotes
A juror who is forced by the judge’s instructions to convict a defendant whose conduct he applauds or at the least feels is justifiable, will lose respect for the legal system. . . . A juror compelled to decide against his own judgment will rebel at the system that made him a traitor to himself.
more Alan W. Scheflin quotes
A new fascism promises security from the terror of crime. All that is required is that we take away the criminals’ rights – which, of course, are our own. Out of our desperation and fear we begin to feel a sense of security from the new totalitarian state.
more Gerry Spence quotes
If a jury have not the right to judge between the government and those who disobey its laws, the government is absolute, and the people, legally speaking, are slaves.
more Lysander Spooner quotes
For more than six hundred years -- that is, since the Magna Carta in 1215 -- there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust, oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating or resisting the execution of such laws.
more Lysander Spooner quotes
If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural god-given unalienable or constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law.
more Harlan F. Stone quotes
The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.
more Harlan F. Stone quotes
The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.
more Harlan F. Stone quotes
In “A jury’s duty” (11/8) by Mike Romano, John Junker asserts that juries have the right to nullify laws in principle but should not use this right in practice. Would he then be willing to give up the rights of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom to organize a labor union, abolition of slavery in the North, and the repeal of alcohol prohibition—all of which were given to us by juries who put the principle of nullification into practice? Without jury nullification no systematic veto exists for the people and tyranny ensues.
more Patricia Michl Sumner quotes
...and in all cases of libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
more Texas Constitution quotes
Jurors have found, again and again, and at critical moments, according to what is their sense of the rational and just. If their sense of justice has gone one way, and the case another, they have found “against the evidence,” ... the English common law rests upon a bargain between the Law and the people: The jury box is where the people come into the court: The judge watches them and the people watch back. A jury is the place where the bargain is struck. The jury attends in judgment, not only upon the accused, but also upon the justice and the humanity of the Law.
more E. P. Thompson quotes
We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.
more Mark Twain quotes
The pages of history shine instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard uncontradicted evidence and instructions of the judge.
more U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia quotes
Jury lawlessness is the greatest corrective of law in its actual administration. The will of the state at large imposed on a reluctant community, the will of a majority imposed on a vigorous and determined minority, find the same obstacle in the local jury that formerly confronted kings and ministers.
more U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia quotes
[T]he jury, as the conscience of the community, must be permitted to look at more than logic.
more U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit quotes
The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of it's prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge.
more U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia quotes
We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused, is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic of passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.
more U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Maryland quotes
From now onwards the jury enters on a new phase of its history, and for the next three centuries it will exercise its power of veto on the use of the criminal law against political offenders who have succeeded in obtaining popular sympathy.
more U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit quotes
[The] purpose of a jury is to . . . make available the common sense judgment of the community as a hedge against the overzealous or mistaken prosecutor and in preference to the professional or perhaps over conditioned or biased response of a judge.
more U.S. Supreme Court quotes
[T]he jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.
more U.S. Supreme Court quotes
It may not be amiss, here, Gentleman, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. ... For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumable, that the court are the best judges of law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.
more U.S. Supreme Court quotes
Since it was first recognized in [the] Magna Carta, trial by jury has been a prized shield against oppression ....
more U.S. Supreme Court quotes
The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...
more U.S. vs. Dougherty quotes
Nullification is but one legitimate result in an appropriate constitutional process safeguarded by judges and the judicial system. When juries refuse to convict on the basis of what they think are unjust laws, they are performing their duty as jurors.
more Judge Jack B. Weinstein quotes
The drafters of the Constitution clearly intended [the right of trial by jury] to protect the accused from oppression by the Government. Singer v. United States, 380 U.S. 24, 31, 85 S. Ct. 783, 788, 13 L. Ed. 2d 630 (1965). ... Part of this protection is embodied in the concept of jury nullification: “In criminal cases, a jury is entitled to acquit the defendant because it has no sympathy for the government’s position.” United States v. Wilson, 629 F.2d 439, 443 (6th Cir. 1980). The Founding Fathers knew that, absent jury nullification, judicial tyranny not only was a possibility, but was a reality in the colonial experience. Although we may view ourselves as living in more civilized times, there is obviously no reason to believe the need for this protection has been eliminated. Judicial and prosecutorial excesses still occur, and Congress is not yet an infallible body incapable of making tyrannical laws.
more Judge Thomas Wiseman quotes
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