"It is not only his [the juror's] right, but his duty . . . to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
Second U.S. President
"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
Author of the Declaration of Independence and third U. S. President
"The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
Joint-author of the Federalist Papers and first U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice
"The friends and adversaries of the plan of the [Constitutional] convention, if they agree on nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists of this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty, the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government."
Joint-author of the Federalist Papers
"If it [jury power] is not law, it is better than law, it ought to be law, and will always be law wherever justice prevails."
Delegate to the
"Must a citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? … It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right."
Henry David Thoreau
"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular--but one must take it because it is right. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws--and unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Civil Rights Leader
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