THOMAS JEFFERSON (1789): I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
JOHN ADAMS (1771): It’s not only ....(the juror’s) right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgement, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1804): Jurors should acquit even against the judge’s instruction....”if exercising their judgement with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong.”
U.S. vs. DOUGHERTY (1972) [D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals]: The jury has....”unreviewable and irreversible power...to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge.”
Excellent quotes. Thanks.
>>U.S. vs. DOUGHERTY (1972) [D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals]: The jury has....unreviewable and irreversible power...to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge.<<
That is the money quote. When courts hand down decisions, the decision is written with an explanation, such as the 78 pager written by the judge in Florida on the unconstitutionality of obamacare. But a juror is merely asked, if asked at all, is this your vote”. Both times I was on jury duty, after the vertict was announced, each of us were asked for our personal vote.
A juror does not have to justify his decision. The implications are enormous. I was actually thumbing my nose at one judge (In my head, of course) during one small part of his instructions.
He only need present those four quotes in his defense case. ;)
“The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”
John Jay, 1st Chief Justice U. S. Supreme Court, 1789.
“The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.”
Samuel Chase, U. S. supreme Court Justice, 1796, Signer of The unanimous Declaration.
“The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, U. S. supreme Court Justice, 1902.
“The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.”
Harlon F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice U. S. Supreme Court, 1941.
“The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...”
U. S. vs. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139, (1972)