Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3
[Volume 4, Page 390]
Records of the Federal Convention
[2:144, 173; Committee of Detail, IV]
That Trials for Criml. Offences be in the State where the Offe was comd--by Jury. . . .
. . . . .[Volume 4, Page 391]
Crimes shall be tried in the State, in which they shall be committed; and The Trial of them all Criml Offences,--except in Cases of Impeachment-- shall be by Jury.
[2:187; Madison, 6 Aug.]
Sect. 4. The trial of all criminal offences (except in cases of impeachment) shall be in the State where they shall be committed; and shall be by Jury.
[2:433; Mason, 27 Aug.]
The trial of all crimes, except in case of impeachment shall be in the Superior Court of that State where the offence shall have been committed in such manner as the Congress shall by law direct except that the trial shall be by a jury. But when the crime shall not have been committed within any one of the United States the trial shall be at such place and in such manner as Congress shall by law direct, except that such trial shall also be by a jury.
[2:438; Madison, 28 Aug.]
Sect. 4--was so amended nem: con: as to read "The trial of all crimes (except in cases of impeachment) shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, then the trial shall be at such place or places as the Legislature may direct". The object of this amendment was to provide for trial by jury of offences committed out of any State.
[2:576; Committee of Style]
Sect. 4. The trial of all crimes (except in cases of impeachments) shall be by jury and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State then the trial shall be at such place or places as the Legislature may direct.
[2:587; Madison, 12 Sept.]
Mr. Williamson, observed to the House that no provision was yet made for juries in Civil cases and suggested the necessity of it.
Mr. Gorham. It is not possible to discriminate equity cases from those in which juries are proper. The Representatives of the people may be safely trusted in this matter.
Mr. Gerry urged the necessity of Juries to guard agst. corrupt Judges. He proposed that the Committee last appointed should be directed to provide a clause for securing the trial by Juries.
Col: Mason perceived the difficulty mentioned by Mr. Gorham. The jury cases cannot be specified. A general principle laid down on this and some other points would be sufficient. He wished the plan had been prefaced with a Bill of Rights, & would second a Motion if made for the purpose--It would give great quiet to the people; and with the aid of the State declarations, a bill might be prepared in a few hours.
Mr Gerry concurred in the idea & moved for a Committee to prepare a Bill of Rights. Col: Mason 2ded the motion.
Mr. Sherman. was for securing the rights of the people where requisite. The State Declarations of Rights are not repealed by this Constitution; and being in force are sufficient--There are many cases where juries are proper which cannot be discriminated. The Legislature may be safely trusted.
[2:601; Committee of Style]
The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.
[2:628; Madison, 15 Sept.]
Art III. sect. 2. parag: 3. Mr. Pinkney & Mr. Gerry moved to annex to the end. "And a trial by jury shall be preserved as usual in civil cases."
Mr. Gorham. The constitution of Juries is different in different States and the trial itself is usual in different cases in different States,
Mr. King urged the same objections
Genl. Pinkney also. He thought such a clause in the Constitution would be pregnant with embarassments
The motion was disagreed to nem: con:
[2:635; King, 15 Sept.]
The Judiciary will be a Star Chamber.
[2:640; Mason, 15 Sept.]
There is no declaration of any kind, for preserving the liberty of the press or the trial by jury in civil cases;
Farrand, Max, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Rev. ed. 4 vols. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1937.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago