jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment. This was achieved either by "packing the jury" or by " writ of attaint ". Then in 1688, a jury acquitted the Seven Bishops of the Church of England of seditious libel. Such a possibility need only be stated to reveal the potentially frightening implications. And if the question relate to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both law and fact. Eduard Bernstein, Sozialismus und Demokratie in der grossen englischen Revolution (1895 trans. Instead, the rule of law is a principle of the limitation of the authority of government. Today, there are several issues raised by jury nullification, such as: whether juries can or should be instructed or informed of their power to nullify.
Jury, nullification and the Rule of Law
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Similarly, juries are routinely cautioned by courts and some attorneys not to allow sympathy for a party or other affected persons to compromise the royal commonwealth essay competition 2009 fair and dispassionate evaluation of evidence. Calvin Coolidge, to the Massachusetts State Senate, January 7, 1914, i was summoned for jury duty some years ago, and during voir dire, the attorney asked me whether I could obey the judge's instructions. The general power of juries to decide on verdicts was recognised in the English Magna Carta 18 of 1215, which put into words existing practices: No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties,. Fully Informed Jury Association The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant"s on the Powers and Duties of Juries An Oath for Jurors Judge Dread - Note on Robert Bork Political Economy Home Page Copyright (c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. In opposition to this, what is contended for? Over time, however, juries have tended to favour the "not guilty" verdict over "not proven" and with this the interpretation has changed. 609-625 in jstor Archived May 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Krieger Archived June 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. This view was not shared by the jury, which, after three days' hearing, acquitted Lilburnewho had defended himself as skilfully as any lawyer could have doneto the great horror of the Judges and the chagrin of the majority of the Council of State. Some maintain that it is an important safeguard of last resort against wrongful imprisonment and government tyranny. Because of that, it is curiously the case that you do not need to have laws to have the rule of law: for the whole system of Common Law developed through the practice of the courts in considering claims that someone had committed a wrong. I should note in closing, however, that government conducts much of its business today through administrative rulings and penalties that are imposed summarily, without trial by jury, or often without trial at all.
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