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by the common law, for the protection of private property. It is founded in natural equity, and is laid down by jurists as a principle of universal law. Indeed, in a free government, almost all other rights would become utterly worthless, if the government possessed an uncontrollable power over the private fortune of every citizen. One of the fundamental objects of every good government must be, the due administration of justice ; and how vain it would be, to speak of such an administration, where all property is subject to the will or caprice of the legislature and the rulers !

$ 395. The other article, in declaring, that the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State or district, wherein the crime shall have been committed, (which district shall be previously ascertained by law,) and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, and to be confronted with the witnesses against him, does but follow out the established course of the common law in all trials for crimes. The trial is always public ; the witnesses are sworn, and give in their testimony, (at least in capital cases,) in the presence of the accused; the nature and cause of the accusation is accurately laid down in the indictment; and the trial is at once speedy, impartial, and in the district where the offence is charged to be committed. Without in any measure impugning the propriety of these provisions, it may be suggested, that there seems to have been van undue solicitude to introduce into the Constitution some of the general guards and proceedings of the common law in criminal trials, (truly admirable in themselves,) without sufficiently adverting to the consideration, that, unless the whole system is incorporated, and especially the law of evidence, a corrupt legislature, or a debased and servile people, inay render the whole little more than a solemn pageantry. If, on the other hand, the people are enlightened, and honest, and zealous in defence of their rights and liberties, it will be impossible to surprise them into a surrender of a single valuable appendage of the trial by jury.

§ 396. The remaining clauses are of more direct sigcompulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel. A very short review of the state of the common law, on these points, will put their propriety beyond question. In the first place, it was an anciently and commonly-received practice, derived from the civil law, and which Mr. Justice Blackstone says, in his day, still obtained in France, although, since the Revolution, it has been swept away, not to suffer the party accused in capital cases to exculpate himself by the testimony of any witnesses. Of this practice, the courts grew so heartily ashamed from its unreasonable and oppressive character, that another practice was gradually introduced, of examining witnesses for the accused, but not upon oath; the consequence of which was, that the jury gave less credit to this latter evidence, than to that produced by the government. Sir Edward Coke denounced the practice as tyrannical and unjust; and contended that, in criminal cases, the party accused was entitled to have witnesses sworn for him. The House of Commons, soon after the accession of the house of Stuart to the throne of England, insisted, in a particular bill then pending, and, against the efforts both of the Crown and the House of Lords, carried a clause affirming the right, in cases tried under that act, of witnesses being sworn for, as well as against, the accused. By the statute of a Will. 3, ch. 3, the same measure of justice was established throughout the realm in cases of treason; and afterwards, in the reign of Queen Anne, the like rule was extended to all cases of treason and felony. The right seems never to have been doubted, or denied, in cases of mere misdemeanors. For what causes, and upon what grounds, this distinction was maintained, or even excused, it is impossible to assign any satisfactory, or even plausible reasoning. Surely, a man's life must be of infinitely more value than any subordinate punishinent; and if he might protect himself against the latter, by proofs of his innocence, there would seem to be irresistible reasons for permitting him to do the same in capital offences. The common suggestion has been, that, in capital cases, no man could, or by the common law, for the protection of private property. It is founded in natural equity, and is laid down by jurists as a principle of universal law. Indeed, in a free government, almost all other rights would become utterly worthless, if the government possessed an uncontrollable power over the private fortune of every citizen. One of the fundamnental objects of every good government must be, the due administration of justice ; and how vain it would be, to speak of such an administration, where all property is subject to the will or caprice of the legislature and the rulers !

§ 395. The other article, in declaring, that the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State or district, wherein the crime shall have been committed, (which district shall be previously ascertained by law,) and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, and to be confronted with the witnesses against him, does but follow out the established course of the common law in all trials for crimes. The trial is always public ; the witnesses are sworn, and give in their testimony, (at least in capital cases,) in the presence of the accused; the nature and cause of the accusation is accurately laid down in the indictment; and the trial is at once speedy, impartial, and in the district where the offence is charged to be committed. Without in any measure impugning the propriety of these pro

visions, it may be suggested, that there seems to have been ran undue solicitude to introduce into the Constitution some

of the general guards and proceedings of the common law in criminal trials, (truly admirable in themselves, without sufficiently adverting to the consideration, that, unless the whole system is incorporated, and especially the law of evidence, a corrupt legislature, or a debased and servile people, inay render the whole little more than a solemn pageantry. If, on the other hand, the people are enlightened, and honest, and zealous in defence of their rights and liberties, it will be impossible to surprise them into a surrender of a single valuable appendage of the trial by jury.

$ 396. The remaining clauses are of more direct sig. compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel. A very short review of the state of the common law, on these points, will put their propriety beyond question. In the first place, it was an anciently and commonly-received practice, derived from the civil law, and which Mr. Justice Blackstone says, in his day, still obtained in France, although, since the Revolution, it has been swept away, not to suffer the party accused in capital cases to exculpate himself by the testimony of any witnesses. Of this practice, the courts grew so heartily ashamed from its unreasonable and oppressive character, that another practice was gradually introduced, of examining witnesses for the accused, but not upon oath; the consequence of which was, that the jury gave less credit to this latter evidence, than to that produced by the government. Sir Edward Coke denounced the practice as tyrannical and unjust; and contended that, in criminal cases, the party accused was entitled to have witnesses sworn for him. The House of Commons, soon after the accession of the house of Stuart to the throne of England, insisted, in a particular bill then pending, and, against the efforts both of the Crown and the House of Lords, carried a clause affirming the right, in cases tried under that act, of witnesses being sworn for, as well as against, the accused. By the statute of 7 Will. 3, ch. 3, the same measure of justice was established throughout the realm in cases of treason; and afterwards, in the reign of Queen Anne, the like rule was extended to all cases of treason and felony. The right seems never to have been doubted, or denied, in cases of mere misdemeanors. For what causes, and upon what grounds, this distinction was maintained, or even excused, it is impossible to assign any satisfactory, or even plausible reasoning. Surely, a man's life must be of infinitely more value than any subordinate punishment ; and if he might protect himself against the latter, by proofs of his innocence, there would seem to be irresistible reasons for permitting him to do the same in capital offences. The common suggestion has been, that, in capital cases, no man could, or by the common law, for the protection of private property. It is founded in natural equity, and is laid down by jurists as a principle of universal law. Indeed, in a free government, almost all other rights would become utterly worthless, if the government possessed an uncontrollable power over the private fortune of every citizen. One of the fundamental objects of every good government must be, the due administration of justice ; and how vain it would be, to speak of such an administration, where all property is subject to the will or caprice of the legislature and the rulers !

$ 395. The other article, in declaring, that the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State or district, wherein the crime shall have been committed, (which district shall be previously ascertained by law,) and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, and to be confronted with the witnesses against him, does but follow out the established course of the common law in all trials for crimes. The trial is always public ; the witnesses are sworn, and give in their testimony, (at least in capital cases,) in the presence of the accused; the nature and cause of the accusation is accurately laid down in the indictment; and the trial is at once speedy, impartial, and in the district where the offence is charged to be committed. Without in any measure impugning the propriety of these provisions, it may be suggested, that there seems to have been an undue solicitude to introduce into the Constitution some of the general guards and proceedings of the common law in criminal trials, (truly admirable in themselves,) without sufficiently adverting to the consideration, that, unless the whole system is incorporated, and especially the law of evidence, a corrupt legislature, or a debased and servile people, inay render the whole little more than a solemn pageantry. If, on the other hand, the people are enlightened, and honest, and zealous in defence of their rights and liberties, it will be impossible to surprise them into a surrender of a single valuable appendage of the trial by jury.

$ 396. The remaining clauses are of more direct sig

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