TIL that in 1670, against a judge’s instructions, a jury refused to find two men guilty. The judge held the jury in contempt; locked them up overnight without food, water or heat; and fined them. On appeal, the Chief Justice ruled that a jury could not be punished for returning the wrong verdict.

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Quite the case. From Wikipedia. Two Quakers in England charged with unlawful assembly. William Penn (the future founder of Pennsylvania) and William Mead. They had been arrested in August 1670 …for religious assemblies of more than five people outside the auspices of the Church of England. The jury found the two “guilty of speaking in Gracechurch Street” but refused to add “to an unlawful assembly”.


That is EXACTLY why we have jury trials, as a last stop on the law. If a jury of 12 peers think what you did is OK, then maybe it was ok. Yes this system has flaws, but I’d rather 12 private citizens decide rather than corrupt politicians and lawyers.


What was the point of the jury then if the judge was just going to do whatever he wanted.


That judge’s great great great grandson became a mod. Unfortunately, the chiefs descendants didn’t become admins.


Is the jury supposed to just follow the judge’s instructions? Then what’s the point of the jury?