We have a criminal jury system
which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by
the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and
Twain's Roughing It
- 4th of July speech 1873
An ignorance so shining and conspicuous as yours--now I have it--go on a
jury. That is your place.
- New York Weekly, 7/14/1873 (letter originally written to Josh
Our admirable jury system enabled the persecuted ex-officials to secure a
jury of nine gentlemen from a neighboring asylum and three graduates from
Sing Sing, and presently they walked forth with characters vindicated.
- The Gilded Age
The humorist who invented trial by jury played a colossal practical joke
upon the world, but since we have the system we ought to try and respect it.
A thing which is not thoroughly easy to do, when we reflect that by command
of the law a criminal juror must be an intellectual vacuum, attached to a
melting heart and perfectly macaronian bowels of compassion.
-"Foster's Case," New York Tribune, 3/10/1873