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Know Your Rights – Part 7

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Everyone hates jury duty. Why do we have to serve in the courts as judges when a judge is sitting right there? The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to be tried by a jury of your peers in most cases. The Seventh Amendment reads; “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 rules of the common law.”

This amendment is important because it helps balance the powers of the judicial branch. Instead of a single person playing judge, jury and executioner; you actually get a judge and a jury – and in some states, in some instances, an executioner. The jury is unbiased and aren’t caught up in the politics of judicial and legislative work. This is so vital to prevent the government from being the end all be all. This helps curb the ability of the government to unjustly put away people whom they deem an enemy of the state.

 

The promise to be tried by a jury and not by a government official was a radical and essential need for the founders and is still for us today.

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