Creating the Bill of Rights

Trial by Jury

The right to a speedy trial by a jury of one's peers is fundamental to the American judicial system. The federal government as well as state governments have refined and redefined the meaning of these terms over the centuries. Although these definitions have evolved, the core right to a trial by a jury of one's peers has remained inviolate if not always unviolated. Where did this idea come from? »

Bill of Rights, Trial by Jury section

Article the eighth . . . . In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right of a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed . . . .

Article the ninth . . . . In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rule of the common law.