1902 Encyclopedia > Jury

Jury




JURY. The essential features of trial by jury as practised in England and countries influenced by English j ideas are the following. The jury are a body of laymen selected by lot to ascertain, under the guidance of a judge, the truth in questions of fact arising either in a civil litigation or in a criminal process. They are generally twelve in number, and their verdict, as a general rule, must be unanimous. Their province is strictly limited to questions of fact, and within that province they are still further restricted to the exclusive consideration of matters that have been proved by evidence in the course of the trial. They must submit to the direction of the judge as to any rule or principle of law that may be applicable to the case; and, even in deliberating on the facts, they re-ceive, although they need not be bound by, the directions of the judge as to the weight, value, and materiality of the evidence submitted to them. Further, according to the general practice, they are selected from the inhabitants of the locality, whether county or city, within which the cause of action has arisen or the crime has been committed, so that they bring to the discharge of their duties a certain amount of independent local knowledge, an element in the institution which is by no means to be ignored. Such in general terms is the famous judicial institution the develop-ment of which is generally regarded as one of the greatest achievements of English jurisprudence.

What is the origin of this very remarkable and character-istic system? That is a question which has engaged the attention of many learned men. The fullest discussion of the subject is contained in Forsyth's Trial by Jury, published in 1852, and more concise notices of the various theories that have been advanced will be found in Stubbs's Constitutional History, vol. i., and in Freeman's Norman Conquest, vol. v. Until quite recently this, like all other institutions, was popularly regarded as the work of a single legislator, and in England it is one of the achievements usually assigned to Alfred. It is needless to say that there is no historical foundation whatever for such a supposition, nor is it much more correct to regard it as " copied from this -or that kindred institution to be found in this or that German or Scandinavian land," or brought over ready made by Hengist or by William. "Many writers of authority," says Canon Stubbs, "have maintained that the entire jury system is indigenous in England, some deriving it from Celtic tradition based ou the principles of Roman law, and adopted by the Anglo-Saxons and Normans from the people they had conquered. Others have regarded it as a product of that legal genius of the Anglo-Saxons of which Alfred is the mythic impersonation, or as derived by that nation from the customs of primitive Germany or from their intercourse with the Danes. Nor even when it is admitted that the system of recognition was introduced from Normandy have legal writers agreed as to the source from which the Normans themselves derived it. One scholar \aaintains that it was brought by the Norsemen from Scandinavia; another that it was derived from the processes of the canon law; another that it was developed on Gallic soil from Roman principles; another that it came from Asia through the crusades," or was borrowed by the Angles and Saxons from their Slavonic neighbours in northern Europe. Tha true answer is that forms of trial resembling the jury system in various particulars are to be found in the primitive institutions of all nations. That which comes nearest in time and character to trial by jury is the system of recognition by sworn inquest, introduced into England by the Normans. " That inquest," says Mr Stubbs, " is directly derived from the Frank capitularies, into which it may have been adopted from the fiscal regulations of the Theodosian code, and thus own some distant relationship with the Roman jurisprudence." However that may be, the system of recognition consisted in questions of fact, relating to fiscal or judicial business, being submitted by the officers of the crown to sworn witnesses in the local courts. It is pointed out by Mr Freeman that the Norman rulers of England were obliged, more than native rulers would have been, to rely on this system for accurate information. They needed to have a clear and truthful account of disputed points set before them, and such an account was sought for in the oaths of the recognitors. The Norman Conquest, therefore, fostered the growth of those native germs common to England with other countries out of which the institution of juries grew. Recognition, as introduced by the Normans, is only, in this point of view, another form of the same principle which shows itself in the compurgators, in the frithbock, in every detail of the action of the popular courts before the Con-quest. Admitting with Mr Stubbs that the Norman recognition was the instrument which the lawyers in Eng-land ultimately shaped into trial by jury, Mr Freeman maintains none the less that the latter is a distinctively English thing. Mr Forsyth comes to substantially the same conclusion. Noting the jury germs of the Anglo-Saxon period, he shows how out of those elements, which continued in full force under the Anglo-Normans, was produced at last the institution of the jury. "As yet it was only implied in the requirement that disputed questions should be determined by the voice of sworn witnesses taken from the neighbourhood, and deposing to the tiuth of what they had seen or heard." What was wanting was to mould the procedure into shape, and that it did not attain until a century after the Conquest.

The inquest by recognition, which was employed generally for the ascertainment of facts, as for example in assessing taxation, is exemplified in legal matters by the process known as the assize or the great assize, applicable to questions affecting freehold or status. Defendant in such an action was enabled by an enactment of Henry II. to decline the trial by combat and choose the trial by assize, which was conducted as follows. The sheriff summoned four knights of the neighbourhood, who being sworn chose twelve lawful knights who were most cognizant of the facts, who should determine on their oaths which had the better right to the land. If they all knew the facts and were agreed as to their verdict, well and good; if some or all were ignorant, the fact was certified in court, and new knights were named, until twelve were found to be agreed. The same course was followed when the twelve were not unanimous. New jurors, as they may be called, were added until the twelve were agreed. This was called afforcing the assize. At this point the knowledge on which the jurors acted was their own personal knowledge, acquired independently of the trial. " So entirely," says Forsyth, " did they proceed upon their own previously formed view of the facts in dispute that they seem to have considered themselves at liberty to pay no attention to evidence offered in court, however clearly it might disprove the case which they were prepared to support." The use of recognition is prescribed by the constitutions of Clarendon for cases of dispute as to lay or clerical tenure. See Forsyth, p. 131; Stubbs, vol. i. p. 617.

In criminal cases there appears to be a more complete approximation to the jury in Anglo-Saxon times in the twelve senior thegns, who, according to an ordinance of iEthelred II. were sworn in the county court that they would accuse no innocent man and acquit no guilty one. The twelve thegns were a jury of presentment or accusation, like the grand jury of later times, and the absolute guilt or innocence of those accused by them had to be determined by subsequent proceedings—by compurgation or the ordeal. Whether this is the actual origin of the grand jury or not, the assizes of Clarendon and Northampton establish the criminal jury on a definite basis. By the articles of visitation of 1194, four knights are to be chosen from the county who by their oath shall choose two lawful knights of each hundred or wapintake, or, if knights be wanting, free and legal men, so that the twelve may answer for all matters within the hundred, including, says Stubbs, "all the pleas of the crown, the trial of malefactors and their receivers, as well as a vast amount of civil business." This is the historical grand jury. The petty jury, as it is called, which is the real jury of trial, appears to have arisen as an alternative to the trial by ordeal. A person accused by the inquest of the hundred was allowed to have the truth of the charge tried by another and different jury. " There is," says Forsyth, " no possibility of assigning a date to this alteration." "In the time of Bracton (middle of the 13th century) the usual mode of determining innocence or guilt was by combat or appeal. But in most cases the appellant had the option of either fighting with his adversary or putting himself on his county for trial"—the exceptions being murder by secret poisoning, and certain circumstances presumed by the law to be conclusive of guilt. Some doubt has been expressed whether the twelve jurors who tried the crime were not identical with the accusing jurors, but the separation between the two juries was at any rate complete in the reign of Edward III. (Forsyth, p. 206).

So far we have arrived at the establishment of the jury system in its modern form, alike in civil and in criminal proceedings ; and, whatever differences may be traceable in the history of the civil and criminal jury respectively, their subsequent development is one. And there is one great feature by which the jury at the stage we have now reached is distinguished from the jury of modern times. The jury still certify to the truth from their knowledge of the facts, however acquired. In other words, they still retain the character of witnesses. The complete withdrawal of that character from the jury is connected by Forsyth with the ancient rules of law as to proof of written instruments, and a peculiar mode of trial per sectam. When a deed is attested by witnesses, you have a difference between the testimony of the witness, who deposes to the execution of the deed, and the verdict of the jury as to the fact of execution. It has been contended with much plausibility that in such cases the attesting witnesses formed part of the jury. Forsyth doubts that conclusion, although he admits that, as the jurors themselves were originally mere witnesses, there was no distinction in principle between them and the attesting witnesses, and that the attesting witnesses might be associated with the jury in the discharge of the function of giving a verdict. However that may be, in the reign of Edward III., although the witnesses are spoken of "as joined to the assize," they are distinguished from the jurors. The trial per sectam was used as an alternative to the assize or jury, and resembled in principle the system of compurgation. The claimant proved his case by vouching a certain number of witnesses (secta), who had seen the transaction in question, and the defendant rebutted the presumption thus created by vouching a larger number of witnesses on his own side. In cases in which this was allowed, the jury did not interpose at all, but in course of time the practice arose of the witnesses of the secta telling their story to the jury. In these two instances we have the jury as judges of the facts sharply contrasted with the witnesses who testify to the facts; and, with the increasing use of juries and the development of rules of evidence, this was gradually established as the true principle of the system. In the reign of Henry IV. we find the judges declaring that the jury after they have been sworn should not see or take with them any other evidence than that which has been offered in open court. But the personal knowledge of the jurors was not as yet regarded as outside the evidence on which they might found a verdict, and the stress laid upon the selection of jurymen from the neigh-bourhood of the cause of the action shows that this element was counted on, and, in fact, deemed essential to a just consideration of the case. Other examples of the same theory of the duties of the jury may be found in the language used by legal writers. Thus it has been said that the jury may return a verdict although no evidence at all be offered, and again, that the evidence given in court is not binding on the jury, because they are assumed from their local connexion to be sufficiently informed of the facts to give a verdict without or in opposition to the oral evidence. A recorder of London, temp. Edward VI., says that, " if the witnesses at a trial do not agree with the jurors, the verdict of the twelve shall be taken and the witnesses shall be rejected." Forsyth suggests as a reason for the continuance of this theory that it allowed the jury an escape from the attaint, by which penalties might be imposed on them for delivering a false verdict. They could suggest that the verdict was according to the fact, though not according to the evidence. With the disuse of attaints, the contrary rule came in, and it was established that where a juryman is acquainted with material facts he should tell the court in order that he may be sworn as a witness; and it was clearly laid down by Lord Ellenborough that, if a judge directed the jury that they might be guided by their own knowledge of the facts independently of the evidence, such a direction would be wrong.





The ordinary jury in civil and criminal trials has now been traced down to the point at which its constitution became stereotyped. An important point still wants some historical explanation. The rule requiring a unanimous verdict has been variously accounted for, but Mr Forsyth's explanation appears conclusive. He regards the rule as intimately connected with the original character of the jury as a body of witnesses, and with the conception common in primitive society that safety is to be found in the number of witnesses, rather than the character of their testimony. The afforcing of the jury above described marks an inter-mediate stage in the development. Where the juries were not unanimous new jurors were added until twelve were found to be of the same opinion. From the unanimous twelve selected out of a larger number to the unanimous twelve constituting the whole jury was a natural step, which, however, was not taken without some hesitation. In some old cases we find that the verdict of eleven jurors out of twelve was accepted, but it was decided in the reign of Edward III. that the verdict must be the unanimous opinion of the whole jury. Diversity of opinion was taken to imply perversity of judgment, and the law sanctioned the application of the harshest methods to produce unanimity. The jurors were not allowed to eat or drink but by leave of the justices; and they might be carried round the circuit in carts until they agreed. These rough enforcements of an unanimous verdict have been softened by later practice, but the rule itself remains.

We may now turn to the jury in actual operation. And let us notice first the various kinds of jury known to English law.

1. Tlie Grand Jury.—The origin of this has been explained above. This is the jury which presents indictments for trial by the petty or ordinary jury. The sheriff is directed to summon twenty-four or more persons, out of whom the jury may be chosen; but not more than twenty-three are to be chosen, so that twelve may be a majority. The verdict of less than twelve, although a majority of the whole body, cannot be accepted, but the verdict of twelve is sufficient although the others may dissent. The grand jury, after a general charge from the judge, consider the bills of indictment in private, hearing such of the witnesses as they think fit. If they consider that a prima facie case is made out against the accused, they return the indictment into court as a true bill, which then becomes the foundation of the process before the petty jury. If they think other-wise they ignore the bill, or send it back into court torn up. They have thus a kind of veto on the cases submitted for trial. As these for the most part have been previously investigated by magistrates who have committed the accused for trial, the utility of the grand jury depends very much on the character of the justices' courts. As a review of the discretion of stipendiary magistrates in committing cases for trial, the judgment of the grandjury is admittedly superfluous ; and even when the committing justice is an unlearned magistrate, it seems very doubtful if much is gained by subjecting his open decisions to the control of a secret tribunal. It used to be urged by the defenders of the system that it secures the attendance of the landed gentry and the county justices at the assizes—a kind of argument which is no longer so cogent as it once was. Mr Forsyth thinks that the grand jury will often baffle " the attempts of malevolence" by ignoring a malicious and unfounded prosecution, but they may also defeat the ends of justice, and they have done so ere now, by shielding a criminal with whom they have strong political or social sympathies. The qualification of the grand jurymen is that they should be freeholders of the county,—to what amount appears to be uncertain.

2. The Coroner's Jury is undeterminate in number, but the finding must be that of twelve at least of the jurymen. Persons found guilty on this inquest may be put on trial before a petty jury at assizes.

3. Special and Common Juries.-—This distinction belongs properly to civil trials. The practice of selecting special jurors to try important cases appears to have sprung up, without legislative enactment, in the procedure of the courts. Forsyth says that the first statutory recognition of it is so late as 3 Geo. II. c. 25, and that in the oldest book of practice in existence (Powell's Attorney's Academy, 1623) there is no allusion to two classes of jurymen. The Acts, however, which regulate the practice allude to it as well established. The statute now in force (33 & 34 Vict. c. 7) defines the class of persons entitled and liable to serve on special juries thus :—every man whose name shall be on the juror's book for any county, &c, and who shall be legally entitled to be called an esquire, or shall be a person of higher degree, or a banker or merchant, or who shall occupy a house of a certain rateable value (e.g., £100 in a town of 20,000 inhabitants, £50 elsewhere), or a farm of £300, or other premises at £100. A special juryman receives a fee of a guinea for each cause. Either party may obtain a special jury, but must pay the additional expenses created thereby unless the judge certifies that it was a proper case to be so tried. For the common jury any man is qualified and liable to serve who has £10 by the year in land or tenements of freehold, copyhold, or customary tenure; or £20 on lands or tenement held by lease for twenty-one years or longer, or who being a house-holder is rated at £30 in Middlesex or £20 in any other county. See 6 Geo. IV. c. 50; and 33 & 34 Vict. c. 77 (the Juries Act). A schedule to the last-cited Act contains a list of the numerous classes of persons exempted from service, which include members of the legislature and judges, ministers of various denominations, and practising lawyers of all grades. These are juries invariably em-ployed in the superior courts. In the county court the jury consists of five.

Formerly aliens were entitled to be tried by a jury de medietate lingux—half being Englishmen and half foreign-ers, not necessarily of the same country as the accused. This privilege has been abolished by the Naturalization Act.

A jury of matrons is resorted to, in a writ de ventre inspiciendo, or when a female prisoner, condemned to death, pleads pregnancy in stay of execution.

From the beginning parties have been allowed to challenge the jury. In civil and criminal cases a challenge/or cause is allowed; in criminal cases only, a peremptory challenge is also allowed. In the former case the challenge may be either to the array, i.e., to the whole number of jurors returned, or to the polls, i.e., to the jurors individually. A challenge to the array is either a principal challenge (on the ground that the sheriff is a party to the cause, or related to one of the parties), or a challenge for favour (on the ground of circumstances implying " at least a probability of bias or favour in the sheriff "). A challenge to the polls is an exception to one or more jurymen on either of the following grounds :—(1) propter honoris respectum, as when a lord of parliament is summoned; (2) propter defectum, for want of qualification; (3)propter affectum, on suspicion of bias or partiality; and (4) propter delictum, when the juror has been convicted of an infamous offence. The challenge propter affectum is, like the challenge to the array, either principal challenge or "to the favour." Prisoners in criminal trials were by common law entitled to a per-emptory challenge without cause shown to the number of thirty-five jurors; and so the law remains, after some fluctuation, in the case of treason. In other cases it is limited to twenty. The crown is no longer entitled to a peremptory challenge as at common law ; but the cause of challenge need not be assigned by the crown until the whole list has been gone through, or unless there remain no longer twelve jurors left to try the case, exclusive of those challenged—an arrangement which practically amounts to giving the crown the benefit of a peremptory challenge.





One other special point remains to be mentioned. The province of the jury is to judge of facts; they have nothing to do with the law—which they must take from the presiding judge at the trial. The old decantatum assigns to each his own independent function :—" Ad quasstionem legis judices respondent, ad quaestionem facti juratores." But, while the jury are supposed in legal theory to be absolute masters of the questions of fact, in practice they are largely controlled by the judges. Not only does the judge at the trial decide as to the admissibility of questions, but he advises the jury as to the logical bearing of the answers on the issue. Further, after a jury has given its verdict, it may be challenged in the courts on the ground that it is against the evidence, or on the ground that there was no evidence to go before the jury. A verdict is said to be against the evidence when the jury have completely misapprehended the facts proved,—when the logical con-clusion to be drawn from the facts is the opposite of that which the jury have drawn. The court will not disturb the verdict of a jury on this ground when the judge who presided at the trial is not dissatisfied with the verdict. And it has been ruled emphatically that, when there is con-flicting testimony as to the point at issue, it is exclusively for the jury to say which side is to be believed, and the eourt will not interfere with the verdict. To upset a verdict on the ground that "there was no evidence to go to the jury " implies that the judge at the trial ought to have withdrawn the case. The meaning of the phrase "evidence to go before the jury" is nowhere definitely ascertained, and a consideration of decided cases makes the difficulty more apparent. The question arises most frequently perhaps in cases involving an imputation of negligence—e.g., in an action of damages against a railway company for injuries sustained in a collision. Juries are apt to infer negligence very easily, and the court has to say whether, on the facts proved, there was any evidence of the defendant's being guilty of negligence. This is by no means the same thing as saying whether, in the opinion of the court, they were so guilty. The court may be of opinion that on the facts they were not guilty, yet the facts themselves may be of such a nature as to be evidence of guilt to go before a jury. When the facts proved are such that a reasonable man might have come to the con-clusion that there was negligence, then, although the court may wholly reject the conclusion in its own mind, it must admit that there is evidence to go before the jury. That perhaps is as near as we have yet got to an understanding of a phrase in daily use in the superior courts; but it scarcely determines what relation between the facts proved and the conclusion to be established is necessary to make the facts evidence from which a jury may infer the conclusion. The true explanation is to be found in the principle of relevancy. Any fact which is relevant to the issue constitutes evidence to go before the jury, and any fact, roughly speaking, is relevant between which and the fact to be proved there may be a connexion as cause and effect. See EVIDENCE. When the question is what damages the plaintiff has sustained, the court openly undertakes to review their decision on its merits—although this is as much a question of fact as any other. If the court deems the damages excessive, it will order a new trial to take place, —generally adding the condition that the verdict may stand if the plaintiff will accept a reduced sum for damages, which in effect amounts to the court itself finding a verdict.

The function of the jury in libel cases was in the last century the subject of a celebrated controversy which ended in the passing of Fox's Libel Act in 1792. Lord Mansfield and the judges held that the criminality or innocence of an act done, including any paper written, is matter of law and not matter of fact, an undeniable proposition then and since. They had also been in the habit of directing the jury to consider only the question of publication, telling them that its guilt or innocence was not for them to decide. Fox's Act declares and enacts that the jury may give a general verdict of guilty or not guilty in libel cases, and shall not be required or directed by the court or judge to find a verdict of guilty on proof of publication and of the sense ascribed to it by the prosecution.

Of the merits of the institution little space is left to speak. The present English jury has at least one con-spicuous defect in the requirement of unanimity; yet, so far as that is concerned, in practice it produces hardly any appreciable evil. All that Bentham and others have urged against it—the application of a kind of torture to force conviction on the minds of jurors, the indifference to veracity which the concurrence of unconvinced minds must produce in the public mind, the probability that jurors will disagree and trials be rendered abortive, and the absence of any reasonable security in the unanimous verdict that would not exist in the verdict of a majority— all this is undeniably true. Yet we rarely hear of juries disagreeing or of jurors agreeing under compulsion. When civil juries were established in Scotland, this was one of the arguments used against the experiment, but it has been stated by the judge, Mr Commissioner Adam, under whom the system was started, that he only knew of one instance of disagreement during a period of twenty years. English experience is much the same, and a reform which twenty or thirty years ago was pronounced absolutely necessary by conservative jurists is now hardly ever heard of. Practically juries have no difficulty in coming to a unanimous verdict; and, if a guess may be hazarded on so wide a subject, they have probably less difficulty now than ever. One cause of that result may be the deference which juries invariably pay to the carefully suggested opinion of the judge—arising no doubt from such perfect confidence in the bench as did not always exist, and would not always have been deserved if it had existed.

But, apart from any incidental defects, it may be doubted whether, as an instrument for the investigation of truth, the jury deserves all the encomiums which have been passed upon it. In criminal cases, especially of the graver kind, it is perhaps the best tribunal that could be devised. There the element of moral doubt enters largely into the con-sideration of the case, and that can best be measured by a popular tribunal. Opinion in England is unanimously against subjecting a man to serious punishment as a result of conviction before a judge sitting without a jury, and the judges themselves would be the first to deprecate so great a responsibility. But in civil causes, where the issue must be determined one way or the other on the balance of probabilities, a single judge would probably be a better tribunal than the present combination of judge and jury. Even if it be assumed that he would on the whole come to the same conclusion as a jury deliberating under his directions, he would come to it more quickly. Time would be saved in taking evidence, summing up would be unnecessary, and the addresses of counsel would inevitably be shortened and concentrated on the real points at issue.

The Jury in Scotland.—According to the Begiam Majestatem, which is identical with the treatise of Glanvill on the law of Eng-land (but whether the original or only a copy of that work is a question which need not delay us), trial by jury existed in Scot-land for civil and criminal cases from as early a date as in England, and there is reason to believe that at all events the system became established at a very early date. Its history was very different from that of the English jury system. In Scotland trial byjury survived for criminal trials, but became extinct in civil cases. In the criminal assize the jury has always consisted of fifteen persons chosen from the jury lists, general and special, drawn up by the sheriff,—one-third of the jury being chosen from the special, and two-thirds from the general list. The verdict is to be that of the majority of the jury, and formerly it had to be expressed in writing, but may now be deliv-ered viva voce by the chancellor or foreman. Besides the '' guilty " or "not guilty" to which the English jury is restricted, a Scotch jury may bring in a verdict of " not proven," which has legally the same effect as '' not guilty " in releasing the accused from further charge, while it practically inflicts upon him the stigma of moral guilt for the rest of his life.

The civil jury was reintroduced in Scotland by the Act 55 Geo. III. c. 42, mainly on account of the difficulty which Scotch appeals turning on questions of fact presented to the House of Lords. Origin-ally the juries were appointed to try issues sent from the Court of Session under the direction of three lords commissioners, but after-wards the procedure by jury was united with the ordinary business of the court, and the special tribunal of commissioners was abolished. The jury was copied strictly from the English practice : the jurors are twelve in number, and their verdict must be unanimous. If they fail to agree within twelve (now six) hours, they must be discharged. This experiment was not at first popular, and it is doubtful if it has even now become assimilated to Scotch practice.

United States. — Trial by jury according to the English system has been incorporated into the constitution of the United States. There was at one time some controversy as to whether the civil jury-was included or not. The three articles (III., V., and VI.) in which allusion to trial by jury is made refer to criminal proceed-ings only, and, moreover, the supreme court is declared to have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact. It has accordingly been provided by one of the amendments to the constitution that, in suits at common law where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved ; and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law. ' ' Throughout the Union in all trials, whether civil or criminal, unanimity in the jury is essential " (Forsyth, 344).
In France there is no grand jury, and no civil jury. The jury
in a criminal case find their verdict by a majority. (E. R.)


Footnotes

Freeman, Norman Conquest, vol. v. p. 451.
This fact would account for the remarkable development of the system on English ground, as contrasted with its decay and extinction in France.

The distinction between the functions of the grand jury, which pre-sents or accuses criminals, and the petty jury, which tries them, has suggested the theory that the system of compurgation is the origin of the jury system—the first jury representing the compurgators of the accuser, the second the compurgators of the accused.
The number of the jury (twelve) is responsible for some un-founded theories of the origin of the system. This use of twelve is not confined to England, nor in England or elsewhere to judicial insti-tutions. "Its general prevalence," says Hallam (Middle Ages, chap, viii.), "shows that in searching for the origin of trial by jury we cannot rely for a moment upon any analogy which the mere number affords." In a Guide to English Juries, by a Person of Quality, 1682 (attributed to Lord Soniers), the following passage occurs: "In analogy of late the jury is reduced to the number of twelve, like as the prophets were twelve to foretell the truth; the apostles twelve to preach the truth; the discoverers twelve, sent into Canaan to seek and report the truth; and the stones twelve that the heavenly Hierusalem is built on." Lord Coke indulged in similar speculations.

Blackstone puts the principle as being that no man shall be con-victed except by the unanimous voice of twenty-four of his equals or neighbours—twelve on the grand, and twelve on the petty jury




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