How can American jurors be considered reliable enough to decide someone's fate when jurors have no professional knowledge of the law?
A JURY IS 12 PEOPLE WHO KNOW YOU and who can judge the law as well as the facts.In 1794, the U.S. Supreme Court conducted a jury trial in the case of the State of Georgia v Brailsford in the first jury trial before the Supreme Court of the United States. In the jury instructions. Chief Justice John Jay told the jury:It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decisionu2022 u2026you have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversyu201c.The book Elliotu2019s Debates On The Adoption Of The Constitution (Vol 3, page 579) quotes Patrick Henry as stating:By the bill of rights of England, a subject has a right to a trial by his peers. What is meant by his peers? Those who reside near him, his neighbors, and who are well acquainted with his character and situation in life.u201dAlso in Elliotu2019s Debates we can read (Vol 2, page 516) where another Founding Father, James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and later a Supreme Court Justice, reassured us that a jury of your peers would always be 12 people who know you:Where jurors can be acquainted with the characters of the parties and the witnesses u2022 where the whole cause can be brought within their knowledge and their view u2022 I know no mode of investigation equal to that by a trial by jury: they hear every thing that is alleged; they not only hear the words, but they see and mark the features of the countenance; they can judge of weight due to such testimony; and moreover, it is a cheap and expeditious manner of distributing justice. There is another advantage annexed to the trial by jury; the jurors may indeed return a mistaken or ill-founded verdict, but their errors cannot be systematical.u201dAnd again, in Elliotu2019s Debates, Vol 2, page 110, Congressman Holmes from Massachusetts, assured us that cases would be heard in the local community where the jury of peers could form a judgment based on the character of the accused and the credibility of the witnesses.Thatu2019s right! Your Constitution was ratified on the reassurance, over and over again, that a jury of your peers would always be 12 people who know you.In 1969 in US v. Moylan 417 F2d 1002 at page 1006:We recognize as appellants urge, the UNDISPUTED power of the jury to acquit, even if the verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence. u2022 the jury has the power to acquit and the courts must abide by that decision.u201dAs recently as 1972, in the case U.S. v Dougherty, 473 F 2d 1113, 1139 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the jury has an u201cunreviewable and irreversible poweru2022 to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge.u201dHere is further proof that a real trial (by jury) is not a trial by government: The Metropolitan News, a Los Angeles legal newspaper on October 25, 1973 quoted Hon. L. Thaxton Hanson, Justice Court of Appeals, State of California (ret.):In ancient times, the right to trial by jury was called `trial per palsu2022 u2022 that is, trial by country u2022 or by the people, as distinguished from trial by governmentu201dLord Hale, 18th Century English Jurist was being quoted in the U.S. Supreme Courtu2019s case Sparf & Hansen v. U.S., 156 U.S. 51 at page 119 (1895):u2022 if the judgeu2019s opinion in matter of law must rule the issue of fact submitted to the jury, the trial by jury would be useless.u201dRead that again. IF THE JURY MUST OBEY THE JUDGEu2019S INSTRUCTIONS ON THE LAW, THEN A TRIAL BY JURY WOULD BE USELESS.Thatu2019s right. Trial by jury would be useless. Imagine what life would be like a country where people must obey the judgesu2022 interpretation of the law.In the impeachment Trial of US Supreme Court Justice Chase in 1805, your US Government fought for the right of the jury to judge the law as well as the facts. They impeached Justice Chase because he failed to tell a jury in a murder trial that they can judge the law. Supreme Court Justice Chase, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was impeached for [Chase Transcript Article 1, section 2, clause 4]:u201cu2022 endeavoring to wrest from the jury their indisputable right to hear argument, and determine upon the question of law as well as the question of fact, u2026u201du201cu2022 to the disgrace of the character of the American bench, in manifest violation of law and justice and in open contempt of the rights of juries, on which ultimately rest the liberty and safety of the American people.u201dThatu2019s right. The liberty and safety of the American people depend upon the juryu2019s indisputable right to determine what the law is. Imagine what life would be like a country where people must obey the judgeu2019s interpretation of the law.Why, you might end up in a country that has 4% of the worldu2019s population, 25% of the worldu2019s prisoners, 70% of the worldu2019s lawyers and 93% of the worldu2019s lawsuits.The jurors have the power to ignore the courtu2019s instructions and bring in a not guilty verdict contrary to the law and the facts. Horning v. District of Columbia, 254 U.S. 135 (1920).But things changed. Juries now should not be told by the court that they have this power. United States v. Krzyske, 836 F.2d 1013, 1021 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 832; United States v. Avery, 717 F.2d 1020, 1027 (6th Cir.1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 905 (1984); United States v. Burkhart, 501 F.2d 993, 996-997 (6th Cir.1974), cert. denied, 420 U.S. 946 (1975).We have lost our rights: Juries must now be told that it is their duty to accept and apply the law as given to them by the court. United States v. Avery, 717 F.2d 1020, 1027.If you want more information, just reply.