Fully Informed Jury Association

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 07 Feb 2013

-Anniversary of Georgia v. Brailsford


Today’s episode of a podcast called 365 Days of Liberty celebrates the anniversary of the third Georgia v. Brailsford case, a notable milestone in the history of the jury. In the Opinion of the Court in Georgia v. Brailsford, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Jay clearly articulated on this day in 1794 the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts of the case at hand:

It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumbable, that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.

Click through to listen to the full audio podcast.