thumbnail of To every man his due; Twelve good men and true
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Call it's the middle of the night and Oliver is sleeping like a log almost like a lamb innocent carefree. Things have been going well at the store. All is right with the world. Life's OK. Oliver sleeps. He doesn't even hear it. When you hear something like a bank robber Island Sound like a backfire to me it sounded like Oh Oh for Pete's sakes requiring it well I'm sorry. Next time a gun goes off in my ear I'll not even mention it. Oh good night. I said goodnight. Goodnight. It was a gunshot All right. I got shot a few blocks away. He was killed too. Police came and newspaper people and there was quite a
total. But I never slept through it all never dreaming that in due course of time this event would troll a monkey wrench into his own ordered existence. Nothing to do but ride with a blow I guess so Oliver it's just too much. There must be fifty thousand people in this town who are over twenty one of sound mind a navigable body who can read write and speak English so why do they have to pick on you. So what makes lightning strike its fate fatal that's just what it could be you know that. Here we are with a car broken down the storm windows still up. The girls coming here for bridge Tuesday. And your mother coming to visit. I'll just die all over I will if you don't get out of this. Well that isn't easy Janey. Only if it's a real hardship. Well you could tell them you're not a well man but I'm healthy as a horse. Tell them I am sick then
when I think of taking on your mother all by myself. Sick is just what I really am. So tell them John that it wouldn't work Jane I'm stuck with it and that's that. Then I'll tell you something else you are stuck with what now. Joyce dearest either go call that judge and tell him you're not coming oh or are going to call your mother and tell her she's not. Oh now Jane you know mother is she wouldn't believe me when I explained the reason she didn't she wasn't wanted. She'd be hurt she'd be put out and she'd be she'd be mad as a wet hen. Yeah so. So Hand me the phone book and start cooking up an excuse for me to tell the judge.
True every man his due a series of radio programs about the principles of justice. To every man his due is produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in collaboration with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Know. Twelve good men and true. Well what did the judge say. He said he doesn't give a hang who minds the story he expects me for jury duty Monday. Oh no no. That's the trouble with being free and over 21 just when you're up to your ears in the pursuit of your happiness. Using your liberty to earn and enjoy the world's highest standard of living. Something happens to remind you that along with the rights and the privileges there are duties self-government it turns out is just what the old civics book said it was. Government by the people by you.
Somebody is accused of a serious crime. His life and liberty are at stake and they want you to judge whether or not he did it. You used that a scream imagine me of all people out of jury because I didn't have I had the best excuse in the world I was expecting and I mean any minute believe me that was one time I was happy to be that way even though it was number five way and it can't happen to me. I should hope not grandma. For jewelry duty qualifications for jury duty vary from state to state as do grounds for exemption but the general rule is that any local resident 21 or over is eligible whether he's willing however is quite another matter. Out of the question of medical doctors patients can't wait. You don't know. I've been sick real sick. But who will mind the kids. It's not that I mind doing it it's just a CD that let you smoke in a court room. I mean if they don't shoot just to bring home the bacon.
Well certainly honor. I could tell my guests not to come but don't you see I've already made a move. And whenever a judge can be convinced that an actual hardship will be incurred a prospective juror may be excused. We lose a great many jurors that way. Many It is often said of the potentially best ones and who can say how many others manage a prompt return to private pursuits with Saddam least one dodges of one sort or another. When they're examining the jurors I say that I am strongly and I need I'll post a capital punishment that it Jane that will simply have to excuse you. But if they shouldn't then you would say I know I say nothing under the sun could convince me that he didn't do it. Got it. By obliging men to turn their attention to other affairs than their own. Said the Frenchman Alexi de Tocqueville of our jury system.
It rubs off that private selfishness which is the rust of a society. Trial by Jury is an ancient and distinctive element of Anglo-American justice. It was trial by jury that replace trial by ordeal some 800 years ago in the reign of King Henry the Second although Henry's joys were really groups of witnesses called to swear upon oath to the truth or false news of the accusation. In time however juries came to consist of 12 good men and true who had no previous knowledge of the event in question and who would upon the basis of facts presented in court judge the guilt or innocence of the accused. Trial by Jury was cherished by our ancestors as a protection against the abuse of power by the judiciary as a guarantee that is not only of a defendant's rights
but also of society's rights. The founders of this republic thought highly enough of trial by jury to mention it not once but three times in the United States Constitution. Nor does any state constitution fail to provide for trial by jury. However a jury trial is not required in every criminal prosecution. Congress for example has used its constitutional power to provide a special system of justice for the armed services in which the jury in its usual form is not employed. Nor are juries required in cases involving petty offenses. Generally speaking persons accused of serious crimes are everywhere in this land. Entitled to a trial by jury. And when pleading not guilty he may not waive that right unless local statutes permit a trial by jury is an established feature of our system of justice established but not in our time without criticism. What's a jury anyway. It's for pretty women and against real road companies
that's won 12 good men and true 12. A group just large enough to destroy even the appearance of individual responsibility will specialize that's the way to get a job done well. Let there be a profession of jurors. People train for the job and dedicated to it. Judges are trained and dedicated. Why not let the judges do the judging. Why not indeed. Why not let judges do the judging in all cases. Why not create a profession of jurors. Why not relegate the whole of Justice to officialdom. History holds answers to these questions and answers to support a noted modern student of the subject. In this view of the matter in spite of all the suggestions to substitute the trained judge of fact we believe that a system of trying facts by a regular judicial official known beforehand and therefore accessible to all the arts of corruption and chicanery would be fatal to justice. The grand solid Barratt of jury trial is that the jurors of fact
are selected at the last moment from the multitude of citizens. They cannot be known beforehand and they melt back into the multitude after each trial. Meaning. Out of the multitude of London on the morning of September 1st. 16:7 day down the street overhung with garish signs to inform the illiterate boars heads Grecian urns golden lambs Saracens heads blue bears and the like. There walked the gentleman. Mr. Bush still good morning good morning Mr. Harley. Not the titled gentleman just Mr. Bushel of home little is known except his name and certain qualities of character which he would soon display. We may surmise that he was a healthy man though having survived the plague not five years past agile to day.
If you held to the wall walking London streets you know you got it from a book. Heal the wall you got it from the gutter it being in either case fills a mess. Mr. Bushel this morning might have been on his way to a coffee house to smoke with Dr. John Radcliffe and getaways maybe auto dip snuff with the props at the Rainbow diversions abundant in London those days dancing bears performed in St. James Park gladiators broken each other's bones at Lincoln's Inn Fields and one might on almost any morning join an ecstatic throng escorting some wretch out to Charing Cross or Tiber and to be hanged drawn and quartered. Such sport alas was not for Mr Bushell. This September morning was all that. Stay in the moment. I say I am glad to see a familiar face but I have just received a juicy Mawson from Corson can scarce contain another moment. Now there was this fair young thing introduced to the king who did cut scenes so
that the king was heard to Romano the time sir if you please I must overdo it Old Bailey. Good day. Bailey I say good road. Show what business have you in that stinking. Old place where justice is upon the bench hid behind nosegays to fend off the fumes of Newgate jail exhibited by the prisoners at the bar and justice itself at times gave often a Roma which was something less than fragrant. Mr. Bushel had been summoned from his private person and inside Old Bailey he would immortalize his own name. Following him Thomas being John Hammond John Bushnell John John the bush will see some records. John Edwards Bush will say on him but Mr. Bush Thomas Dan
standing in the jury box about to be swayed by. John Manning knowing. You sit down to try to deliverance me with twixt our sovereign lord the king and the prisoners at the bar. According to the evidence so help you God. We're going to be right. That William pan. Gentlemen and what do you mean later blonde linendraper with divers other person to the germs unknown to the number of 300 the 14th of August and they suffer a second year of the king about eleven of the clock in the born on the same day with fortune and at several in the parish of St. Bernard Grace Church in Bridgewater London in the street called Grace Church straight on lawfully and tumultuously did assemble and congregate themselves together. For the disturbance of the peace of the said Lord and King of the aforesaid William pan by agreement between him and William E. before May did then and there take upon himself to speak and preach in the street a force and by reason way rob a great concourse and tumult of
people a long time did remain and continue in contempt of to the Quaker that stood. Bar all accused of conspiracy to disturb the peace in a time when religious conformity was in the London air and in the policies of the government. Quakers were particularly disliked and young William Penn upon finding the doors of the Quaker meeting house closed by officials preached in the street outside and with William Mead was brought to trial. What say you what do you plan and what you meet are you guilty as you stand indicted in Manner and Form as aforesaid. Or not guilty. It is impossible that we should be able to remember the indictment verbatim and therefore we desire a copy of it as is customary in the like location. You must first draw the indictment before you are going to have a copy of it. So began the trial of two Quakers before Anglican judges of an Anglican government and a jury which will observe the jury in the following excerpts taken almost verbatim from the actual trial transcript as published later by William Penn.
I affirm I have broken no law says William Penn. Nor am I guilty of the indictment that is laid to my charge and I desire you would let me know by what Lloyd's use you prosecute me and the public what law you ground my indictment pro-gun but common law. Where is that common law. You must not think that I am able to run up so many years and over so many adjudged cases which we call common law. To answer your curiosity. This answer I'm sure is very short of my question. For if it be common it should not be so hard to produce sir. Really you really do know an indictment. Shall I plead to an indictment that has no foundation in law. If it contained that law you say I have broken. Why should you decline to produce that law. And since it will be impossible for the jury to determine or agreed to bring in their verdict who have not. The law produced by which they should measure the truth of this indictment and the guilty or contrary of my fact you honor such a fellow speak through the indictment. I
say it is my place to speak to a matter of law. I am the rain to prison of my liberty which is next to life itself is now concerned I say again unless you show me and the people the law you ground your indictment upon I shall take it for granted your proceedings are merely off a train. The question is rather you are guilty of this indictment the question is not whether I am guilty of this indictment but whether this indictment be legal. Where there is no law there is no transgression and that law which is not in being is so far from being common that it is no no no you are not impertinent freddo. Will you teach the court what law hears its own written law. That which many have studied thirty or forty years to know and what you have read to tell it to you in a moment. Certainly if the common law be so hard to be understood. It's far from being very common. Sir you are right. Troublesome fellow and it is not for the owner of the court to suffer you to go on. I have asked but one question I should suffer you to ask Christians to do tomorrow
morning you would be never the wiser van does according as they and some song. So did Justice degenerate into farce in September of 69 70 witnesses for the prosecution numbered three said one innocent. Oh yes I did see William Penn speaking to a crowd in great church street I could not hear what he said said the other two in words to this effect I was there all right and speaking I don't want I know not. I give my you not but two of the three he had seen when you made there to the third not upon which testimony the case was submitted to the judgment of the jury with a charge from the bench which left little doubt as to the desired verdict as the jury with William Penn who with me had been removed to the bail dock a small room off the courtroom thrust on his head and shouted. I appeal to the jury who are my judges whether the proceedings of the court or not most
ABA prairie in charging the jury in the absence of the prisoners. I say it is opposite to the UN down to the right of every English prisoner and cook in the second Institute twenty nine on the chapter of Magna Carta. A president you do here do you not tell. Thanks to the call Tolbert phone or gun problems down the road you're telling me I'm not going to bring us back. Good agreed Fergus. All finds the joinery. May it please the court but the jury is divided in its opinion divided. One to six following. Mr. Bush. Yes you're right Hugh you are the cause of this disturbance and manifestly show yourself in a better reflection. All right showed such a mark upon you sir. Mr. Bushel I have known you near this fourteen years you have thrust yourself upon this
jury because you think there is some service for you. I tell you you deserve to be indicted more than any amount that has been brought to the baldest state here in response to that remark from the bench. Mr. Bushel spoke like many another Jordan before and after his time. No said John there were threescore before me. And I would willingly have got off. But. Not. Unwilling as he may have been. Mr Bush will receive the blame on the credit for the remarkable behavior that Jory and so planted his name in history. A bench solidly resolved to convict William Penn William Mead commanded the jury on the spot to deliver a verdict which was delivered guilty of speaking in Grace Church Street is that its own that is not enough. Was it not an unlawful assembly. Guilty of speaking in Grace Church St.. The law of England will not allow you to depart. Do you have given in your verdict. We have the given in our Vatican my lord.
Gentlemen you have not given in your verdict. And you had as good say nothing. Therefore go ye and consider once for. These. Blank stroke gentleman that these 30 minutes have sufficed just to enable you to come to some Verdict we the jurors do find William Penn to be guilty of speaking or preaching to an assembly met together in Grace Church Street the 14th of August last 16 17 and that William Mead is not guilty of said indictment was when you let yourself be led by such a silly fellow's Bushell and impudent panting fellow This is no verdict the time just conspiracy. William Penn could not conspire alone. Gentle yourself be dismissed and we
have a verdict that the court will accept and you're somebody locked up without meat drink and tobacco. We have a budget by the help of God. Oh you got stung. Thought it. Was a. Pill. 7:00 tomorrow morning. Gentlemen of the jury. We spent a miserable night 10 ducks this has decided to bring in a proper verdict. William Peden is guilty of speaking in Grace Church Street to an un lawful assembly. No my lord. We give no other verdict than what we gave last night. We have no other verdict to give you or a factious fellow bushel. I'll take a quote from you. I have done according to my conscience my lord know that conscience of yours would cut my
throat. No my lord. It never shall. I will have a positive verdict. Or you shall starve for each. Go you. And determine together that these men William Penn and William Mead are guilty as charged of conspiring to disturb the King's peace and of causing a great concourse into most of the people go up. Them Well yes. Silence in the court. What say you mon journeyman really. William Penn is guilty of speaking in Grace Church Street where you meet not guilty. People from. What I have until now I never understood the reason of the policy and purpose of the Spaniards in suffering the increase isn't among them that certainly would lose never be well with us till something like unto the Spanish
Inquisition beginning would go your surname and then spend another nights without food fire can't go to back over. On the market. My lords of the court. The jury deliberated and does not find William Penn not guilty as he stands indicted. And will you do likewise not guilty as indicted. Gentlemen I am sorry you have followed your own judgments and opinions rather than the good done cold cement for such good when you. Got my life out of your hands. But for this the court fines you forty mark a man and
imprisonment to pay. I demand my liberty being freed by the jury. Still you are going for your fines paying fines what fines or contempt of court. Court stands adjourned. I ask if it be according to the fundamental laws of take them away and stop British phrasing mum I can never urge the fundamental laws of England but to cry Take him away take him away. I do insist this does expressly contradict the Fourteenth and twenty ninth chapters of the great charter of the NG with Journey of where you take your OS. We do say no free man off to be false but by the oath of good and lawful men of the realm and I mean. Hope so it would cook. Justice degenerated into farce. But twelve good men and true as well as two Quakers went to jail. And that was hardly
laughable. Not for many weeks did Mr. Bushell again walk in the streets of London. He and his fellow jurors appealed their case to the highest court of England where it was unanimously decided that their fines and imprisonment were unjust. With that judgment it became established in Anglo-American law that jurors shall judge the facts independently of judges. So it is that in our trials by jury judges instruct in the law and may advise as to the facts but the facts are judged by jurors who freely determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. But the question was why not let judges do the judging. Why not professional jurors trained for the job. Why not place the whole of justice in officialdom because of facials. Even learned and upright judges may become overzealous about official policies as was demonstrated in bushels case because it's conceivable that the official might well become at odds with the will of the people
that want to accuse as an enemy of the people might be merely an enemy of the existing roster of officials such evils goes our tradition are guarded against by the participation in serious criminal prosecutions of those 12 representatives of the people who emerge from the multitude and faded again into it. But of course justice then depends for its quality upon the quality of those representatives of the multitude. John or was it Edward Bushell left more than his name upon the history of Anglo-American law. He left also an example of the juror. They only kind of juror when you come right down to it. You can give any meaning or justification to the jury system. I have done according to my conscience my dog. I have done according to my conscience.
To every man his due
Twelve good men and true
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-8w384b9d).
Twelve Good Men and True: Trial by Jury
Dramatic-narrative series on principles of justice under the American system of law, particularly the rights of defendants.
Law Enforcement and Crime
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Advisor: Fellman, David, 1907-2003
Music Director: Voegeli, Don
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Writer: Carlson, Elizabeth
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-17-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:35
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “To every man his due; Twelve good men and true,” 1962-04-25, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021,
MLA: “To every man his due; Twelve good men and true.” 1962-04-25. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <>.
APA: To every man his due; Twelve good men and true. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from