Origins of the jury
A jury is a body of neighbors summoned under oath by a public official to answer questions. We have 2 categories: the Petite jury and the Grand jury. Petite juries determineguilt or innocence that are basically called the jury.
A grand jury determines whether or not you have enough evidence.
The jury is answering the question: What happened?
A jury is a method offinding facts. If you don’t have a jury, the judge finds facts.
The jury answers the question and the judge answer by the law.
The ancient methods of finding facts were pretty primitive. There was noscience.
Among the Anglo-Saxon the method of finding facts was called the wager of law.
The wager of law: the person who is accused would deny, he would offer to wage his law. He would have to getpeople to say he did or didn’t do it. He comes back to the court and would have to swear behind God. Eleven « oath takers » will swear that the defendant is telling the court, if they all swore, thedefendant won.
It was hard to find eleven people in village. When you swore falsely on the Bible, there was excommunication.
By the sixteen century, this method wasn’t accepted anymore.
In England, by1833, it was outlaw.
The Normans came and they brought another method: the trial by battle. If 2 people were involved they could fight and the winner was the one telling the truth. It was used inonly two types of things: the accusation in felony and in the contested lands. They were fighting under the sight of the judge. The person who loses would yell and say the word: « craven » (gave up).After 1166, this method stopped being used.
Accusation of felony disappeared and they are not used anymore.
The wager law disappeared too.
The jury has to inquest.
The first use of the power ofinquest was by William the Conqueror when he created the Domesday Book. Under Henry II, in 1166, he promulgated the Assizes of Clarendon, he created the possessory Assizes. A plaintiff in the land would...
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