Constitutional Conversations

Series: Constitutional Conversations

"Constitutional Conversations," the award-winning nine-month long examination of our nation’s founding document, concludes it's third season with a special program:  a combined session for all ages on "The Origins of the American Jury System."

An English author remarks, “Nowhere is the jury system more highly revered than in the United States, where Twelve Angry Men virtually has the status of a sacred text.” The key to understanding the depth of the American conviction to the right of trial by jury is discovering the tradition from which the doctrine originated. The fundamental right to a jury of one's peers has been asserted from time immemorial and it remains an important protection against the abuse of secretive courts and arbitrary laws, the final democratic check on the government's power. However, this "fundamental right" to a jury trial did not have the illustrious beginnings that one may assume.

Join this discussion on how an English common law right, born of necessity, became the bulwark of American freedom against the tyranny of the English monarchy. 

Constitutional Conversations is presented by the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the William and Mary Law School, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Williamsburg Regional Library.  The Virginia Public Library Directors Association awarded it the Best Cooperative Program with Other Libraries or Agencies for 2010.  

Advance registration for this free program is not required.  

Read an article about how Constitutional Conversations came about.


Room: Theatre