Saturday, July 4th was the 244th celebration of the day the United States declared our independence from England. In Independence Hall in Philadelphia, our forefathers came together, led by Thomas Jefferson, to pen that one-page famous document known ever since as “The Declaration of Independence”.
Have you ever actually read the Declaration? Do you know what it says? It is fascinating. I’ll abbreviate part of it here for you:
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people (the colonies) to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another (England), decent respect requires them to declare the causes which impel the separation.”
The document then lists 28 specific reasons that led to our decision to break free from England. As a Phoenix Arizona trial lawyer, I found it very compelling that one of the 28 reasons listed was “for (the King of England) depriving us of the benefits of Trial by Jury”.
You see, even at the earliest stages of the formation of our country, our leaders knew how important a trial by jury is. The courts and juries are such an important part of our Constitutional. To this day, the right that one person, no matter who he/she is, can seek legal redress for wrongs against the mightiest of people, corporations or governments, and, that the decision-makers will be fellow citizens—neighbors in our community, empaneled as a “jury” to hear and decide what and who is right and to levy a verdict (justice) as they deem appropriate, then to be enforced by our court system, is unparalleled in the history of the world.
As Americans, “We The People” govern ourselves by electing our leaders.
Further, “We The People” decide society’s rights and wrongs, through the court system and through trial by juries.
You see, our forefathers knew that if we were going to live as a free and peaceful and lawful society, we needed to have an orderly, organized, and peaceful means of resolving disputes.
Hence, the court system. And hence, trials decided by We The People.
The Declaration further states:
“We hold these truths to be self -evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
On July 4, 1776, we declared our independence and we listed the values that would come to embody The United States of America.
I stand proud as a citizen of the United States, and as a Phoenix, Arizona trial attorney.