Essay on The Rights Of The Us Constitution

Essay on The Rights Of The Us Constitution

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The right to a trilby jury is one of the main freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. In criminal cases, a jury of twelve citizens decides the guilt of the person being accused. The government cannot take someone’s right to life, liberty, or property until those twelve citizens are convinced of the accused person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the jury represents common sense and the community’s conscience when resolving disputes. The story of the jury, from its origins to its role in the modern justice system, reflects the movement toward self-governance.

The American jury system has its roots in medieval England. The kings who rule from the 6th to the 11th centuries and the Normans who conquered England used various procedures that provided possible models for the jury system. However, the innovations in the legal system by King Henry II showed the earliest resemblance to the modern jury.

King Henry created several new legal actions in order to resolve arguments over land and inheritances. With these new actions, twelve “free and lawful men” of the area were assembled to state, under oath, their knowledge of who the true property owner or hair was. These panels of twelve men established the basis on which the modern jury would grow. However, unlike modern juries these panels were expected to come to court with their knowledge the already possessed about the case.

In addition, Henry also created new procedures in criminal cases that are still seen in modern juries. In the Assize of Clarendon, Henry introduced what later was called a grand jury. It required that panels of “lawful men” report under oath whether they knew of anyone who was suspected of a crime in t...


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... long as the local laws did not deny blacks the right to be considered for service, it would have to be proven they were wrongfully excluded from service on a particular jury. This meant that many blacks were excluded form actual service on juries, and this did not begin to be weakened until the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

Women also faced a long struggle to earn their right to serve on juries. While American women gained the right to vote in 1920, they were unable to serve on a jury until 1975. Today we understand that a right to trial by jury includes a right to have a jury chosen from a cross section of people that represent the community. The jury, has adapted to the new political structures and new understandings of an individuals rights. As society continues to change so do the issues that confront this vital part of our democratic tradition.

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