Title page from An Essay on the Trial by Jury (1852)

An Essay on the Trial by Jury (1852)

Spooner argues that it is principle in English law going back to Magna Carta that juries had the right to determine the justice of the laws under which a person might be tried, as well as whether or not the accused is guilty.

Key Quotes


It is manifest, therefore, that the jury must judge of and try the whole case, and every part and parcel of the case, free of any dictation or authority on the part of the government. They must judge of the existence of the law; of the true exposition of the law; of the justice of the law; and of…


If the trial by jury were reëstablished, the Common Law principle of taxation would be reëstablished with it; for it is not to be supposed that juries would enforce a tax upon an individual which he had never agreed to pay. Taxation without consent is as plainly robbery, when enforced against one…