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Call. It's the middle of the night and all of us are sleeping like a log. More 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 all over the room and you hear something back her island didn't sound like a back my to me and it sounded like Oh for Pete's sake require you know. Well I'm sorry. Next time a gun goes off in my ear I'll not even mention it. Well good night. I said good night. All. Good. I it was a gunshot All right. Got shot a few blocks away. He was killed too. Police
came and newspaper people and there was quite a to do. But Oliver's slept through it all never dreaming that in due course of time this event would throw a monkey wrench into his own ordered existence. Nothing to do but ride with the blow I guess. 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. What makes lightning strike. It's fate. They do all that stuff 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 of her I will if you don't get out of this room that isn't easy Jane. 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'm 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. Or go call your mother and tell her she's not. Oh now Jane you know my mother is. She wouldn't believe me when I explained the reason she think she wasn't wanted. She'd be hurt she'd be put out and she'd be she'd be mad as a wet hand. Yeah 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 at the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Now 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 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 imagine me of all people out of me. I had the best excuse in the world when 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 when it can't happen to me. I should hope not grandma. I want you to grab it 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. Oh no. 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 show it just who'll 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 solemnly sworn dodges of one sort or another when they're examining the jurors. I say that I am strongly opposed to capital punishment is that it Jane. They'll simply have to excuse you. But if they shouldn't then you and 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 alexy did talk 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 juries were really groups of witnesses called to swear upon oath to the truth or false notes of the accusation in time however juries came to consist of 12 good man and true who had no previous knowledge of the event in question and who 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 journeys 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 may not waive that right unless local statutes permit 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 against railroad 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. Answers to support a noted modern student of the subject. In this view of the matter in spite of all the suggestions to a 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 merit 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.
You. Mean you. Are out of the multitude of London on the morning of September 1st. 16:7 Bay Donna St overhung with Gary signs to inform the illiterate boars heads Grecian urns golden lambs Saracens heads blue bears and the like. Their walk to gentlemen Mr was till Good morning good morning Mr Harley. Not the title and just Mr. Bushell of whom 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 too. If you held to the wall walking London streets you got it from a book deal. The wall you got it from the gutter it being in either case fills a mess. Mr. Bushell this morning might have been on his way to a coffee house to smoke with Dr. John
Radcliffe getaways maybe auto dip snuff with the props at the Rainbow diversions abundant in London those days. Then sing bears performed in St. James Park. Gladiators broke 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 tie Britain to be hanged drawn and quartered. Such sport alas was not for Mr Bushell. This September morning. Let's stay in the moment. I say I am glad to see a familiar face but I have just received a juicy morsel from cotton can scarce contain another moment. There was this very young thing introduced to the king who did curtsey so low that the king was heard to remark. If you must overdo it Old Bailey good day. Bailey I say Good Lord. Bushnell What business have you in that. Old Bailey where justice is upon the bench hid behind those gates to fend off the
fumes of Newgate jail exhibited by the prisoners at the bar and for justice itself at times gave often a Roma which was something less than fragrant to Old Bailey. Mr. Bushel had been someone from his private pursuits and inside Old Bailey he would immortalize his own name. Oh yeah and Thomas Pierre Jon Hamm and John Boyd. John John the Bush selling records John Edwards Bush Mr. Bush promised standing in the jury box about John Bailey. You farewell and deliverance make twixt the king and the prisoners at the bar. According to the evidence.
That William Penn gentleman and what do you mean with divers other person to the juror's unknown to the number of three on the 14th of August in the second year of the king about eleven of the clock in the born on the same day with force in the parish of St. Bernard Grace Church in Bridgewater London in the street called Grace Under awfully and tumultuously did assemble and congregate themself together. For the disturbance of the peace of the Lord and King. The aforesaid William pan by agreement between him and what do you meet before May did then and there take upon himself to speak and preach in the street aforesaid by reason away Rob. A great concourse and to a lot of people a long time did remain and continue in contempt of to a Quaker that stood at the bar accused of conspiracy to the stir of 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 pan 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 pan and what do you mean 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 for him and therefore we desire a copy of it as is customary in the like location. You must first draw the indictment before you're 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 lawyer as you prosecute me and the public what law you ground my indictment on the common law. Where is that common law.
You must not think that I am able to remap 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 serve. Really you need to know an indictment. Shall I plead to an indictment that has no foundation in the 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 are a sucky fellow. Speak to the indictment I say it is my place to speak to a matter of law. I am a range a prisoner 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 arbitrary.
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 Beppe law which is not in being is so far from being common that it is no no I told you I am not impertinent Fred although. The court hears its own written law. That's which many have studied thirty or forty years to know. And would you have me 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 honor of the court to suffer you to go on. I have asked but one question answered some for you to ask questions to tomorrow morning. You would never otherwise your van does according as the song. So did Justice degenerate into farce in September of 69 70.
What innocence for the prosecution numbered 3. Said one innocence. Oh yes I did see where you're speaking to a crowd in Grace Church Street. I could not hear what he said said the other two in words to this effect. He's there all right and speaking about what I know not. All I did with my you know I saw two of the three he had seen. When you meet 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 had been removed to the bail dock a small room off the court room for his head and shouted. I appeal to the jury who are my judges whether the proceedings of the court or not most ABA Prarie in charging the jury in the absence of the prisoners. I say it is opposite to the on down to the right of every English prisoner and cook in the second Institute twenty nine on the chapter of Magna Carta. You present
here do you not tell. Thanks to the colt marksman or gun problems. Oh you're telling me. I'm not going to bring us back your agreed verdict. Was. All fines the jury may have pleased the caught the jury is divided in its opinion. Jeff I did want to 640. Mr. Boyce. Yes you are the cause of this disturbance and manifestly show yourself in a better reflection. Already showed such a markup on you sir. Mr. Bushnell 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 Bushell spoke like many another Jordan before and after his time.
No Sir 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 or the credit for the remarkable behavior that Jory and so planted his name in history. A bench solidly resolved to convict William pan William Mead commanded the joining on the spot to deliver a verdict which was delivered. Guilty of speaking in Grace Church St.. Oh the act is not enough. Was it not an unlawful assembly. Guilty of speaking in Grace Church St.. England will not allow you to depart. You have given in your verdict. We have given in our verdict my lord. Gentlemen you have not given me your verdict and you had as good say nothing. Therefore go and consider once more.
Gentleman 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 as Bush and impudent canting fellow This is no verdict. The charges conspiracy William Penn could not conspire alone yourself be dismissed and we have a verdict that the court will accept and be locked up without meat drink and go. We are burdened by the help of God. Oh you got stung for it. Killed seven people.
We spent a miserable night tend to bring in a proper verdict. William Penn is guilty of speaking in Grace Street unlawful assembly. No my lord. We give no other verdict than what we gave last night. We have no other verdict to give you or effect. I'll take a close with you. I have done according to my conscience my lord you know that conscience of yours would cut my throat. No my lord. It never shall we will have a positive verdict. Or you shall starve for it. Go you. And determine together that these men will your brand and will you meet are guilty as charged of conspiring to disturb the peace and of course in a great concourse of the people go up.
Well yes. Silence in the court. What say you. Journeyman. Really. William Penn is guilty of speaking in Grace Church Street William Mead. Not guilty. But I have until now I never understood the reason of the policy. The premise of the Spaniards in suffering the Inquisition among them and certainly it will never be well with us till something like unto the Spanish Inquisition be in England. And spend another night without food fire can't go back over. And. Over. Was. My lords of the court. The jury deliberated and does not find William Penn not guilty as he stands indicted.
And will do likewise not guilty as indicted. Gentlemen I am sorry you have followed your own judgments and opinions rather than the good done Coach some advice such given you. Got my life out of your hands. But for this the court fines you forty marks a man and imprisonment to pay. I demand my liberty being freed by the jury. You are going for your fines paying fines what fines for contempt of court. Court stands adjourned I ask if it be according to the fundamental laws of England where stop. 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 English journey will you take me to say No free man ought to be false but by the oath of good and lawful men
of the realm and I'm a first rate 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 one accused 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. The 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 is produced by radio station the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters script by Milburn and Elizabeth Carlson content consultant David film and music
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)
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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.
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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: 00:29:30
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Chicago: “To every man his due; Twelve good men and true,” 1961-10-16, 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.” 1961-10-16. 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