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 Posted: Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 01:44 pm
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Joe Kelley
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"THE GRAND JURY originated in England as the accusing body in the administration of criminal justice. At the Assize of Clarendon, in 1166, Henry II provided that twelve knights or twelve "good and lawful men" of every hundred and four lawful men of every vill disclose under oath the names of those in the community believed guilty of criminal offenses. Members of this inquisitorial body were obliged to present to the judge sworn accusations against all suspected offenders. Unlike petit juries, grand juries were not to pass upon guilt or innocence but were to decide only whether an individual should be brought to trial. At first all accusations originated with the members of the inquest themselves, but gradually the juries came to consider accusations made by outsiders as well. The jurors then heard only witnesses against the accused and, if they were convinced that there were grounds for trial, indicted him. They also passed upon indictments laid before them by crown prosecutors, returning a "true bill" if they found the accusation true or "no bill" if they found it false. However, the juries never lost their power to accuse on their own knowledge. This they did by making a presentment to the court. The presentment represented an accusation on the jury's own initiative while an indictment represented a charge that originated outside the membership. Under their power of presentment English grand juries could and did investigate any mater that appeared to them to involve a violation of the law."


https://scannedretina.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/the_peoples_panel_rotated.pdf

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 Posted: Mon Feb 12th, 2018 08:40 pm
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Joe Kelley
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Notes on Magna Carta

"Likewise though it be said here, that the King hath given and granted these Liberties, yet they must not be understood as meer Emanations of Royal Fa∣vour, or new Bounties granted, which the people could not justly challenge, or had not a Right unto before; For the Lord Cook at divers places asserts, and all Lawyers know, that this Charter is for the most part only Declaratory of the principal grounds of the Fundamental Laws and Liberties of England, no new freedom is hereby granted, but a Restitution of such as lawfully they had before, and to free them of what had been usurped and encroached upon them by any power whatsoever; and therefore you may see this Charter often mentions Sua Jura, their Rights, and Liberat•s suas, their Liberties, which shews they had them before, and that the same now were Confirmed."

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A33823.0001.001/1:4?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

Compare that to the American Revolutionary Congress statement concerning a Declaration of Independence:

"That the question was not whether, by a declaration of independence, we should make ourselves what we are not; but whether we should declare a fact which already exists:

"That, as to the people or Parliament of England, we had always been independent of them, their restraints on our trade deriving efficacy from our acquiescence only, and not from any rights they possessed of imposing them; and that, so far, our connection had been federal only, and was now dissolved by the commencement of hostilities:

"That, as to the king, we had been bound to him by allegiance, but that this bond was now dissolved by his assent to the late act of Parliament, by which he declares us out of his protection, and by his levying war on us —a fact which had long ago proved us out of his protection, it being a certain position in law, that allegiance and protection are reciprocal, the one ceasing when the other is withdrawn:"

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/elliot/vol1/approaches/

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