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presumes, that nothing is more certain, passed a day without torturing te than that they appertained to the juris. death a score of his people, and prudence of the Celts and Goths, and

causing the eyes to be put out of that no man under those people could

twice as many more ; till he had have been punished for a crime of which

blinded or depopulated half his emhe had not previously been convicted by bis peers; and this historical fact is alt pire.”. From the consideration of that need be insisted on by him who ad- former instances of tyranny, the auvocates the rights of the ENGLISH JURY thor proceeds to those of modern SYSTEM. What were the powers of the date, and referring to the horrid prose Wittenugemote--what those of the Aula titution of juries in France, during Regis-how far they were, or were not, the cruel despotism of Robespierre, co-existent - what analogy exists bem tween them, or either of them, and the

remarks as follows: present courts of Westminster, are ques

“ Happily for our glorious institution, tions which form no part of his business

o this, my countrymen, was a jury not

constituted in the English fashion. Some or enquiry. “ Should it be conceived that his rea

of the leaders in the Revolution bad seen sonings favour the accused too much,

our courts of law, and had admired our and tend to cherish prejudices against

juries, without understanding the praclegal authorities and accusers, he refers

tice of our system. France had not for his apology to that excellent princi

been subdivided by an Alfred, and no ple of our law, which presumes every

arrangements existed for returning juries thing in favour of accused persons, and

in rotation. Instead, therefore, of sumwhich assigns to prisoners, the court as

moning forty-eight good and lawful men their counsel : besides, power being al

from the body of the department of ways able to sustain itself, requires no

Paris, and having a fresh jury every aid from extraneous sources; and it is

week, or on every trial, twelve wretches the helpless accused, suffering under pri

were picked up in the political clubs of putions and prejudices, who require un

Paris, and their office of jurymen was advocate, and have little dependence in

as permanent as that of the judges and the hour of adversity and trial, except

public prosecutor; like whom they were on the correct principles, active benevo

paid for attendance, and identified as an lence, and unshaken integrity of a jury."

integral part of the court. All the fea

T ury: cures of the English jury system are essenThe introductory chapter of this tial to its perfection. Mutilate any one, work, consists of various observa- and it loses part of that which is necessary tions somewhat of a desultory nature to its beauty and syinmetry. It is alike on the importance of the institution necessary that juries should be struck of juries, which are enforced by re- byt

by the sheriff; that they be taken from ferences to the horrid instances of

the regular annual return of the freehola

ders in the sheriff's office; that they be tyranny and cruelty practised by

selected indifferently from the body of despots a different ages. “ Muley

the county, and not brought wholly from Ismael, Emperor of Morocco, who the same street or village; that they reigned two thirds of the last century, should not be required or allowed to was believed never to have eaten bis serve oftener than the time prescribed dinner, till be had witnessed the va.. by law, and that, for this purpose, a ried execution of half a score of his

his register should be kept of those who

have served ; that they be subject to subjects; and on one occasion, the challenge, with or without reason; that whole male population of a rebel grand juries should consist of their prom lious province, amounting to two per number, and be men of rank and thousand persons, were beheaded be character; that no criminal suit be comfore him at one sitting. Nadir Shah menced, but by presentment; and that Emperor of Persia, in the reign of

the free and uncontrouled verdicts of

twelve of a grand jury, and of the like George 11. used to go circuits and

number of the petit jury, should precede administer justice in his tent; always legal accountability or punishment. Caasing his sentences to be executed in his presence: this tyrant never “ In considering the encroachments on the authority of juries in modern ries in matters of libel. The people times, one is immediately struck with would then be truly and substantially the frequent practice of setting aside ver- protected by their own discretion, and dicts and granting new trials. A fortune no freeman could be taken or imprisoned is, in consequence, uften expended in but by the lawful judgment of his peers, seeking justice; and the longest purse, (M. C. cap. 29); none could be taken by by this means, ensures a certain tri- pétition or suggestion, unless by indictumph. . Of what avail is our boasted ment of lawful people (25. Edw. III.); trial by jury, if a dispensing power should nor could any be put to answer without thus continue to be assumed, of lightly presentment, according to the ancient setting aside verdicts? Causes in this law of the land (42 Edw. III.) way are prolonged for years, and the “If I might be indulged with an opiverdict of a jury ceases to be the gua- nion relative to other points, in which rantee of property and justice. New the barriers of liberty are broken down trials may sometimes be highly proper; by occasional assumptions of power, I but the restrictions on them ought to be would quote the unqualified practice of multiplied - the grounds for granting the courts of law, and the houses of parthem ought to be special and extraordi- liament, of committing for contempts. nary-and, whatever be the issue, the Such practices, on due consideration, party applying for them ought to pay the can scarcely fail to appear to every disexpence on both sides. Perhaps it might passionate person to be an unnecessary heal the wound in the constitution, in violation of the great charter, and of the cases where further examination may salutary statutes just named; and I evidently tend to aid justice, if the ori- humbly and most respectfully submit it ginal rather than a new jury, were to to those who have it in their power to retry the first verdict' at the expence of correct such legal anomalies, that no inthe applicant. At any rate, the prac- jury or inconvenience could result from tice, as it now exists, requires to be re- admitting parties to bail, and prosecutgulated by legislative interference, voting them by indictment. The courts of less for the sake of public justice, than chancery, king's bench, and exchequer, to preserve inviolate and sacred the de- have prisons within their jurisdiction, to cisions and authority of juries.

receive their prisoners; but in regard to « Every grand jury is a convention the houses of parliament, they are so far of free-men, designed to protect the un- 'from having an executive authority, exjustly accused from oppression, and to cept within their owo walls and purlieus, redress numerous grievances which are and with regard to their own members, within their cognizance. Would to God that I humbly conceive no sheriff' or that all grand jurymen were duly sensi- gaoler is warranted at present in receioble of the importance of this social task ing, or justified in detaining, a person

that they were less urgent to finish committed by the speaker of either house their labours--and more keenly sensible of purliament in his official station. of the pernicicus consequence of finding . The last encroachment on the ancient indictments, the allegations of which are system of convening and using juries, to not made out in spirit and letter as well which I respectfully call the attention of as in fact. They are competent to de- oracles of law and legislation, is the cide fully and finally on every charge multiplication of special juries in all exhibited before them, and they are un- kinds of causes, and even in causes in controuled by any influence besides their which the crown office prosecutes, aloaths, and the honest feelings which they though the master of that office is the bring from their fire-sides. If criminal person appointed to strike those juries. informations ex officio, and infornations What I have observed, in regard to the by rule of court, for offences which pro- false principle on which the juries of the perly and constitutionally come within revolutionary tribunal were constituted, the province of a grand jury, were for applies with nearly equal force to these bidden by act of parliament, and if new-fangled English juries! They nearly grand juries, in these particulars, had always consist of the same men, becomtheir ancient authority in such matters ing an integral part of the court, identirestored to them, a boon would be con- fying themselves with it in spirit, feeling, ceded to the people scarcely less value and practice; and by their regular atable than the habeas corpus act, or the tendance, convert the office of juryman late act for explaining the powers of ju- into a place of permanent profit! The

statute which forbids sheriffs to summon ration from the just, liberal, and mercijurors oftener than with an interval of ful spirit of our laws, I am actuated by two terms, is wholly disregarded, and a deep sense of duty to iny country, by a the officer who strikes special juries, is hope that truth, on subjects of public inequally inattentive to the clause which terest, may always be spoken with iinrestricts him from returning them (4 punity, and, by a well-founded confiGeo. II. cap. 7). I confess I doubt al dence, that errors and abuses have only together the necessity or expediency of to be made kuown to be corrected and the 15th section of the 3d of Geo. II. reformed. which extended to ordinary causes the “ The smallest departure from practispecial provisioos of trials at bar; but ces established by law, and the smallest the legislature, of course, did not con encroachments on the barriers of liberty, template the introduction of such juries, ought to be watched with as inuch jeaexcept on extraordinary occasions. Af- lousy as greater ones, because they india ter the enquiries of a committee, I ven- cate a departure from principles, and a ture to hope parliament will feel the ne disposition to make greater encroachcessity of repealing that and the two fol- ments, if any occasion were alleged to lowing sections. If persons superior in require it. I do not, however, consider education and expert in business, are either prosecutions by informations, spenecessary in particular causes, there cial juries, or commitments by any ausems to be no sound pretence for taking thority imeanctioned by act of parlia. the choice of them out of the hands of ment, and even contrary to acts of par. the sheriff, por fur exempting thein from liament, to be light and inconsiderable the general restriction of the 4th Geo. encroachments; and I exhort the people II. cap. 7. A conformity to this restric to petition against thein, and the legis. tion would render them less liable to ob lature to make such salutary and effecjection; but it is altogether unaccount- tive provisions, as may restore to every able, and without analogy in the whole man the right to be exempt from prosecourse of our jurisprudence, that a man curion, except by the indictment of a may first be prosecuted on the sugges- grand jury; as may render all juries tion of an attorney-general, without the pure and unsuspected ; and as may seintervention or the presentment of a cure Englishinen froin indefinite imprigrand jury, and afterwards be tried by sonment on the hasty vote of any asseina special jury, struck, in the exchequer bly, or on the bare pleasure or ipse dirit by the remeinbrancer of that court, or of any court." in the King's Bench by the master of the

[To be continued.] crown office! In mentioning this aber

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.

REMARKS ON A PASSAGE IN THE the editor of this paper observes :STAMFORD NEWS RELATIVE The courage of a Frenchman exists TO THE CRUELTIES OF THE not for a moment after it is divested FRENCH IN PORTUGAL, of the curbulence of passwn ;-he is

therefore really a COWARD, and his SIR,

notorious cruelty is thus accounted for." Among the many ignorant and Had such a remark occurred in one foolish effusions, that have disgraced of the private letters from Lisbon, the columns of the English news. those precious morsels of truth and papers, since the retreat of Massena liberality, it might have passed une from Santarem, the following from noticed; but that it should have a recent number of the Stamford been penned by the editor of so reNews is peculiarly deserving of ani. spectable a paper, as the Stamford madversion.-In an elaborate article News, is truly astonishing, and may on the cruelties of the French army; bé fairly quoted as a lamentable

TOL. I..

proof of the degraded state of the tugal; but may not these ravages be British press.* Here we find the rather attributed to the French comwhole French nation held furth not mander, than to an innate love of only as being notoriously cruel, but cruelty in the French nation? And even stigmatised as cowards ! It if so, let me ask the Stamford editor would have been as well for the wric what he would think of the Moniter, before he published such a fool- teur, if it were to cite detached inish paragraph, to have considered, stances of cruelty in English officers whether he could be borne out hy Cand are none such to be found ?) history; the domestic habits of the and attribute then entirely to the French people; or, so far as cun- cruel propensity of Englishmen? cerns the conduct of their armies, With regard to the excesses in Porby the uniform testimony of our own tugal, let the matter be stated fairly. official dispatches. Were the French The English have entered Portugal notoriously cruel, our commanders as defenders, the French as conque would undoubtedly, long ago, bave rors.--In, 1810, Massena pursued furnished us with a mass of docu- Lord Wellington all across the counments quite conclusive on the sub try; and, during the pursuit, bis ject. This, however, is not the case; lordship's orders were to destroy every but, on the coutrary, they have, on, thing, to lay every thing waste, lest many occasions borne honburable the enemy should find provisions, testimony to the humanity and at &c. In 1811, Massena, in want of tention of the French to those who food, leads his army out of Portugal have fallen into their hands. Even closely followed by the English geLord Wellington himself can be ad. neral ; but continues to burn and duced as belieing the assertion of destroy every thing he meets with,the Stamford editor:--September 7, what for? for the same reason that 1809, after the unfortunate battle Lord Wellington set him the exam. of Talavera, his lordship writes thus ple last year.--The English may to Lord Castlereagh: " Mr. Dillon, disguise the matter as they please; “ the assistant commissary has as- but this is the fact, and the light in " rived from Talavera ; he reports which the conduct of these generals “ that the British officers and sol. must be viewed by all impartial men. “ diers, who are wounded are doing. All arinies are licentious when un“ remarkably well; and are well fed restrained by discipline. - The Eng. and taken care of; indeed, he says, lish soldiers were guilty of the most “ PREFERABLE TO THE FRENCH shameful pillage in the retreat under " TROOPS." Thus the cruel French, *the unfortunate Sir John Moore. the notoriously cruel French, accor- To make a difference between the arding to the Stamford editor, are re- mies of different nations, in respect presented by an English general, as to humanity, &c. and thence to taking more care of the British pri- draw national characters is absurd soners and wounded, than of them and puerile in the highest degree, selves. I am aware that we have and utterly unworthy the intellect of been told by the same commander, any but a dotard or bigot.—"Humathat the French have lately been nity of English soldiers,-humanity guilty of shameful excesses in Pore of the English nation, &c. &c." are

flattering phrases in our ears; but The Eruminer, unquestionably the best written paper at present publislied

impartial judges will look to history: in this country, termed the French peo

where they will read of our humaple a few months ago, a parcel of blood nity in the East Indies, in Africa, in hounds! Yet, we boast of our refine, America, at Copenhagen, &c. &c. meni. s.

As to the charge of cowardice, it doubt, that it would be a thing quite is almost teo ludicrous to require monstrous and disgusting to behold · potice; but it shows that nothing is a society of men, whose religion en

too gross for a writer, when he de- joined one thing, and whose laws scends to vulgar prejudices and na: permitted another thing directly ontional antipathies. Frenchmen are posite--Since it would be impossireally cowards ! Granted--but bave ble that both could be right, the ihe goodness to inform us by what conclusion must be, that either means they are now become the most those people followed a false religion, powerful nation on the globe?-By or that their laws, instead of being what means have they crushed five solemn and sacred, were sinful and mighty coalitions, and at length criminal; the one or the other of completely closed the continent to these alternatives would be inevitaGreat Britain herself. If the French ble; and in fact, I do not see how are a nation of cowards, what cpithey are to be avoided in the case bethet must be applied to the other fore us, since it is a thing beyond all nations of Europe, all of whom have doubt, that christianity and the miocombined against her; and after a dern law of libels are in direct corwar of twenty years, they behold her tradiction to each other; and accorten times mightier than she was be- ding to Sir W'. Blackstone's rule the fore? If the Stamford' editor can. law must yield to the gospel, and I not answer these questions, he would trust that every good christian, and consult his reputation, in future, by indeed every moral man, will apleaving such illiberal abuse to those plaud the justice of such a decision. sinks of sophistry and falshood, the There is no mediu in between truth Morning Post and the Courier. . and falsehood, they are contrary Yours truly,

masters, both of whom, no man can COMMON SENSE. servema liar cannot be a true man, Newington, May 14, 1811..

nor a true. man a liar. Just so a real christian cannot be a persecutor

of truth: if a man will, either as REMARKS ON THE NEW DOC. judge or juryman, treat iruih as an TRINE OF LIBELS,

offence, and punish it, he must rio AND EX-OFFICIO INFORMATIONS, nounce christianity: he must expose

himself to the wrath of God, which LETTER II.

the Apostle Paul says (Rom. 1.18.)is

revealed from heaven against men who SIR,

I hold the truth in unrighteouness; and The trascendant importance of surely it is holding the truth in unthe subject of my last letter, invol. righteousness to punish it as a crime ; ving the most invaluable rights of nay, to be in any shape instrumenmy countrymen, will, I trust, apolo- tal in depressing the cause of truth, gise for my troubling you with a few is, I conceive, io fly in the face of supplementary remarks on the in- the Deity. I do not wish, Mr. Edi. novating doctrines recently avowed.' tor, to add to the scripture quota

It was observed in my former let- tions inserted in iny last ; nor can I ter, that Mr. Justice Blackstone has conceive that a point, so clear and admitted the necessary conformity of fundamental in the christian system, the law of England to the divine law, requires any such illustrations in This will be found in his introduc- the minds of your readers : no Sir, tory remarks on law in general; and every man who is a christian wellindeed it is no extraordinary con- knows that Lying lips are an abocession ;, for he was conscious, no mination" to the Deity, which he

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