Prior to the Civil War petite juries determined law as well as fact, and grand juries investigated all crimes, particularly felonies, and not merely crimes brought to their attention by prosecutors. Also, crime victims could prosecute criminals for crimes against them, and could hire private prosecutors (still available under Virginia common law).
After the Civil War and the 15th amendment people in government felt appalled that Negroes could not only vote, but also serve on petite and grand juries. As a consequence, they began stripping those juries of their powers. The Florida Constitutions show this. Now, in Florida, petite juries cannot determine the meaning or application of the law to the case, grand juries investigate ONLY capital crimes, and of course, only government prosecutors can prosecute crimes. Furthermore it has become virtually impossible for the citizenry to pass information about crimes to grand jurors, so they won’t investigate public officials unless the State Attorney allows it.
Perhaps that shows perspicacity and wisdom, for in 1921 the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote and in 1971 the 26th Amendment gave children 18 years of age and older the right to vote. Such a dumbing down of the electorate shows with crystal clarity the justification for stripping juries of their powers. And it will remain so, until government restores responsibility to the electorate.
The riblifter in the above video most likely enjoys full voting rights, as do millions of “good citizens” like him in all racial groups. And they can serve on juries.
Or, maybe this shows the wisdom of revising the voting right throughout America.
It Terry Trussell and others like him had not become frustrated with the above realities, they would not have bothered trying to form their own “common law” grand juries. And the jury would not have convicted him today.
I propose the politically correct solution of administering a constitution competency test to, and requiring 80 percent correct answers from, all who would swear an oath to support the US and state constitutions. If they cannot pass, they cannot vote or take government employment.