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Jury Trial: For The Signal Of Liberty

Jury Trial: For The Signal Of Liberty image
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No grcater nnomnly can be found in the laws oí ibis or perhafís any other couniry, ihun the denial of trial by jury toaüedged fjgilives from slavery Thia species of trial consiiiutes one of the most marked features of Anglo Saxon jurisprudence.and haB over been considercd its chiefglory. The doctrine that no oncean iegully suffer ín persou or ia property, (except in an inconsiderado amnunt of ihe latler,) btit lv the judgement of his p'eera hs heen deriv nel from onr British añeestorj?, and íuüy in corporated into tho constitution and laws of tho Uuited StatO3 and of every individual State of the Union, uThe trial by jary," eays BJackstone, over has beea and I trust ever vvjll be looked upon as the glory of the Enylisli law." It is "the most transcendent privilege which any subject oaa enjoy or wishfor, that he canuot be nffected either in lus property, his liberty or his nerson, but by ino ununimous consent of YZ of his neihliora and" The same eut authority adds, tho liberties of EiHand cannot but subsist so long aa this palladium remaias." Not less highly has this modo of trial uoeti esteemed tunoiig ourselves. Of the amendinenttothe constitution of the üöied Stated Sift(es, threeiiavea special reflerence tó the trial by jury, and a fourth asserts f-ihe right of the people to be secure in Uieir persons and papers ngainst unreaoonable sea-rches and seizuresT' Jn the anieles of compact coniained in the Inmous ordinnnce of 1787, for the government of ihe Territorynorthwcstoftheriver Objpj it is expressly deo.lar-, d, ihat "the injiabhants of sitid Tenjtory i-hall Iways be entitled to the writ of corpus and trial by jury, and oí" judicial proeecdiqgs accordiúg tu the couise ut ihe commun law." Ji ie tü Le rcim n.Ltred that these articlcs were"to rernain lbrever unt lera ble nalees by connnon consent," ihai i-Sthe consent of "ihe original Stalep,an4 oi Ihe people and Status of ihe i?.wd 'i'erritory Huw then can trial by jiry be retaséá to ariy inhabüunt of thia tetaie without a viölation oí ihe Onünance of 17S7? Vvhat saya our oivn Slato constitution on thís point? Anide 1, Sec. 0. saya the rght of trial by jury hall reniain fhviolaic Arucle LSec. tOsaysHhat in aïl criminal PJ :utioñ9,fhá iicrusedahnii have the right to apecdy and public trial by an iinpaiiiul jury, and in ui] civil cayes, ia wiücii personal liberty nmy be nvolved the ttial byjury shulfuut be refused. ij escape from slavery a "crinjinaP offonce, a "civü" ofi'ence or is it no oiïence at all? In any case, howcan n (rial by jury be relused? The constiïution of the United Ötates, the ordinance of 1787, and the conslituiion of this State afiirn. nnd éècnmwie nm. u never could have been rcfusetl bm through a cruel, wicked and most criminal dctcrtnination (bat color should be prcsumptive cvidenco of slavery- a presuroption unsupportcd by iho constitution oí the U. S., the Onlinaiicc, or ó'w own Stalê constituiion- and foundcd only on a blackness of hcarl, ihal would det.v to a íellow creature, becnuse dark-íkinn d, the privilege of afsprting ihe most precious nght o humanity and Icave him an eaèy proy to the vilest of depreduiora, the prolessed slave-catoher. It is grantcd, that the consiinuion oí the ü. S. requires [hut ! siich tugitives should be surreiideied, but j that instrument saya nothing about the j mode invvhich the claim shall be Jished. This is attempted to bescitled by a subsequent law of conress, passed in 93 or 'O-i in which a justjce cf the peaee is declared a cmipelent oilktr to decide on the validity of the claim of n inster to an aHerdgèd fugiiivc. Is it too ,m' ;i t.j aíserr, that, no act of congress cit'u do mvay w'ïtfa an express article of the coristiWupri of the S., (three such aíBrm the right of trial by jury) the 'inalterable" ordinance, and au arücleofour own State constituiion, which no one pretends coiiilicfs in (he j glightestdegree with the constituiion of the United States, but which is in fact n tnere echo oí' one of iis provisinns? But the justices, it wil! hc said, are not bound tocarry inlo execufion hi? law of the United Siates: lt is true, ;hcy are nor; ! but itis equally true, they iay and doexercise the power and thcrelbre it is that a matter invoiving such Iremenduus responsibil.ty ought IQ be k-ft no loa&t in their hands.Ve cannot hold too sacreil the reat charter of our liberlies. Won's cannot express mure cleárlv ana iinequivocollv than thóso do the rjglit f eveiy inhabitanlof this State to seeurjly fr unreasonscizuresofperson and proi.erty, and ms riglit to a jury trial, wtrito ciiher person or propeny ia in jeopardy. Are we willing to sport with these pfèciöUa instrutnents aqd lo malte their nmst soieinri deelarations mean any thing or nothino,as mteresi 01 conveniencc may diclalu ? fehall we at the bidóiog oi Southern innsler set aside thoso principies, wiuch for more than fire centimes, have heen the glory of our ancestors? Are we AriUin in order to promote vtolence and íojttstics, and render the northern cofoted man an easy prey to the Soathem tyxant, to set aside ihe comt;act" of the Ordi:mce under which our Territorial existenGe bc,in, and set máe our national and Siate ëonsfilutions? Whileliie prtseiit st-.i!e o;" J-nes wc are dcdaririg that the riglit of tri i! !v' jury shall .ot be ihvmlule', thai ag respecta a class of our citizers, wuiy of whom were bom on our soil, and most óf them ! iyng residents of the State, ihe repeafed j solemn declarations and the most bighty prized saleguards ofihe ehartert of our libertiea shail be but so uitich waste[TO HF. C"NTrM?KI).]