James Madison, one of the main drafters of the Constitution and the fourth President, wrote
that, "Trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the
liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature."
Yet, today, consumers, employees and victims of corporate negligence
are increasingly being denied access to justice through the courts.
Or if a tree falls in a forest and a jury isn't told, does the tree legally exist?
More or less, this is the issue before the US Supreme Court in a case deciding whether state law can require judges to hide evidence from juries. In South Carolina, state law generally prohibits defense lawyers from presenting evidence that someone other than the accused committed the crime in question.