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The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776 and remains the most enduring documentary symbol of liberty and freedom in the world. After this Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers later drafted the Constitution of the United States of America, guaranteeing among other rights, the right to jury trial. In the Sixth and Seventh Amendments, contained in the Bill of Rights, the citizens of the United States are guaranteed the right to a public trial by an impartial jury.
The Sixth Amendment addresses the right to jury trial in criminal cases. The Seventh Amendment addresses the right to jury trial in civil cases The Seventh Amendment states: “In suits at common law…the right of trial by jury shall be preserved.” In an 1883 treatise, Joseph Story wrote that this amendment was the most important and valuable of the 10 amendments comprising the Bill of Rights because it placed upon the “high ground of constitutional right the inestimable privilege of a trial by jury in civil cases, a privilege scarcely inferior to that in criminal cases, which is conceded by all to be essential to political and civil liberty.”
It is this right that trial attorneys like those at CGWC hold dear and strive to protect each year as the state and federal politicians continually erode the rights of individuals at the request of big businesses through their well funded lobbyists. The right to a public trial before an impartial jury is the essence of American freedom, and it is the singular feature of the American system of government that keeps the power of governance in the hands of the people and maintains the dilution of power necessary for real freedom for every man, woman and child.
This Fourth of July, remember to celebrate this freedom and to thank the veterans and others who have served the public for over 200 years to preserve this freedom we both cherish and sometimes take for granted. While celebrating, remember to keep safety first. Visit this website link for safety tips while you celebrate our Declaration of Indpendence and our freedom!