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Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956 - File 050. 1956-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 5, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/909/show/889.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum. (1956-02). Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956 - File 050. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/909/show/889

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum, Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956 - File 050, 1956-02, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 5, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/909/show/889.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956
Alternate Title Facts Forum News, Vol. V, No. 2, February 1956
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date February 1956
Language eng
Subject
  • Anti-communist movements
  • Conservatism
  • Politics and government
  • Hunt, H. L.
Place
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • journals (periodicals)
Type
  • Text
Identifier AP2.F146 v. 5 1956; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States: This item is in the public domain in the United States and may be used freely in the United States. The item may not be in the public domain under the copyright laws of other countries.
Item Description
Title File 050
Transcript tern. Is privacy a luxury appended to the institution simply to make the job of jurors easier and less embarrassing? Or is the confidence of the jury room part of the very fabric of the system itself? SANCTITY OF JURY RESPECTED THROUGH CENTURIES It is an interesting thing that in this slow evolution of the jury system, there is a common thread which runs virtually without interruption as we look at the history from a period about four hundred years ago. This common thread of fundamental principle that runs through this history of the trial by jury is that the jury should be protected and isolated from all extraneous disturbances or influences, not only during the trial, but in the course of their deliberations and until it reaches a verdict. As early as the fourteenth century, the English jury was prevented from separating or breaking up while it was carying on its deliberations and it was prohibited from having any contact or conversation with other persons until after the verdict had been reached. One historian, commenting on the fourteenth century origin of this concept, points out that this was a necessary rule during that period of time in the litigation when the parties or friends of the parties would be only too ready to use all the devices, either of corruption, intimidation, or persuasion to influence the verdict. Blackstone has this to say in his work in discussing the jury system: The jury, after the proofs are summed up, unless the case be very clear (when presumably they could decide it in the open courtroom) withdraw from the bar so as to consider their verdicts. . . . If they speak to either of the parties or their agents after they are gone from the bar, or if they receive any fresh evidence in private, or if to prevent disputes they cast lots for whom they shall find, any of these circumstances will entirely vitiate the verdict. There is a very interesting case reported in Volume 279, United States Reports, page 749. In that case, an important criminal trial was being conducted in Washington. One of the defendants requested the court to lock the jury up during the course of the trial because he feared it would be tampered with by those bent upon his conviction. The court refused to lock the jury up and so the defendant decided that he would conduct a surveillance at his own expense of the members of the jury and he employed fourteen detectives of the Burns Detective Agency to keep surveillance on the jurors at all times when they were not in the courtroom. When the case reached the Supreme Court it was conceded that all of the detectives were explicitly directed not to speak Page 48 to the jurors, not to attempt to influence them in any way, but merely to keep track of their activities and to report to the principal who was the defendant in the case. Justice McRey- nolds, speaking for the Supreme Court of the United States, had this to say, and I would like to quote directly from the case: Counsel (for the defendant) maintained that the petition docs not adequately charge and the record fails to snow misbehavior by appellants which obstructed the administration of justice within Section 268 of the Judicial Code since there is neither an averment nor evidence that any operative actually approached or communicated with a juror or attempted so to do or that any juror was conscious of observation. The insistence is that to establish misbehavior within that section it was essen- WIBB WORLD Warren E. Burger tial to show some act both known by a juror and probably sufficient to influence his mind. We cannot accept this view. It would destroy the power of the courts adequately to protect themselves — to enforce their right of self-preservation, . . . The situation is controlled by the reasonable tendencies of the acts done and not by extreme and substantial impossible assumptions on the subject. . . . The wrong depends upon the tendency of the acts to accomplish this result without reference to considerations of how far they may have been without influence in a particular case. Under the doctrine so stated, we think the trial judge rightly held it unnecessary to allege or show actual contact between an operative of the detective agency and a juror or that any juror had knowledge of being observed. The reasonable tendency ol the acts done is the proper criterion. Wither actual effect produced upon a juror's mind nor his consciousness of extraneous influence was an essential element of the offense. That the acts here disclosed, and for which three of the appellants were certainly responsible, tended to obstruct the honest and fair administration of justice, we cannot doubt, 'the jury is an essential instrumentality — an appendage — of the court, the body ordained to pass upon guilt or innocence. Exercise of calm and informed § judgment by its members is essential to the proper enforcement of law. The most exemplary resent having thetf footsteps dogged by private detective* . . . The mere suspicion that he, raj family, and friends are being subjects to surveillance by such persons ^ enough to destroy the equilibrium. °_ the average juror and render impes' sible the exercise of calm judgnwg upon patient consideration. If those B for juries understand that they may •* Seen freely subjected to treatment like tl* «■" here disclosed, they will either shun Wf J\ §f burdens of service or perform it wr disquiet and disgust. Trial by capapl „ V $4.50. juries in important cases probata would become an impossibility. , Here we have a case in which Tl^i Supreme Court of the United St* moth has held that the mere act of ha^ outsty " 'io com members of the jury observed in W whi nnt-nf-nniirt hours: and follO'T Seci m "Stic whether the purpose be to pr0 them from tampering, or whaW upon was an act which not only vi°I*. 'he , the right of privacy of the jurors H* lengtl viduaUy and collectively but als" Policy- contempt of the court itself. i 'y'oci The more important thing >s i l'°l>k Court's language which points oU* <>r tl pernicious effect of such pra|-J (|u""' upon jurors, and upon the t'e''^ j' ° tions of juries. If that be true, ''"'j, (^'' nation of merely having a juror ) . °fol< lowed from the courthousi home to see that he is not tamPj f^U with, how much more true it is °'.j . , ''8 <l tea< be 1 conduct of the case, about the. rest?' nesses, probably about the la% tin,,"' certainly about the litigants, and" (^ sibly even about the judge? | facts i This project of examining io'j select function of the jury mind was JJ re process of recording the most 1 mate comments of the jury ah"1' (1- |n ' {& ^civec rently not to be an isolated or a , ^ j tive thing by any means. The i"* Dy that only five cases were tin of this surreptitious eavesdrop, i(||(| „ and the identity of the cases h^i of 0I| yet been learned by anyone "j crim,] government, so far as we kn correspondence which has In available, and I think perhaps aL <m -.-,. made public to some extent, io °;<l Tin's i that the research project was °J fessor sweeping proportions and c°j. the p, plated the surveillance and S,"JJ s»n. 1- tious eavesdropping of five h"J3 *° the to a thousand juries to get a cf | j'ceent tion ol the entire country. J11' t. "" hai they were going to allocate th?*! 'evel f districts or otherwise, it not >'c ,w \er> n It has been suggested by J '. '""-'(' searchers in defense of this PJ jj>- It that the lawyers consented a^| <n;>t v court consented. I suggest would be no different and ""} ,'"' •"• defensible if the jurors and ^ "Jlstak neys together arranged to ,Q ,'x'j' microphone in the judge's ''"V j ■ li to record his discussions with . cin clerk. ... ,M1 ;< I leave this subject for >'"u ! p and debate. acts Facts Forum Ne' Febrw • ><( I
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