Justice by the People: How the Jury Prevents Majority Rule Excesses

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin said jury nullification is “better than law, it ought to be law, and will always be law wherever justice prevails.”

Everyone knows that there is often a difference between “the law” and justice.

Elected officials make laws under the influence of lobbyists and their desire to enrich themselves and get reelected.

Anyone who thinks the typical congressman, senator, assemblyman, or local councilman is a beacon of wisdom and justice and cares first and foremost about the nation’s future is a lovable fool.

New Jersey Senator Scott ‘Scullin Joe’ Walker presents a bill to the Senate. 

The proof is the sad shape of the state of this country, with its financial recklessness, its $34 trillion debt, its massive incarceration rates, and growing curtailment of liberties. The government’s self-righteous and petty bossism over the people. And the inversion from a government fearing the people to the people fearing the government.

The framers of the Constitution knew that any government left on its own will expand and serve itself (and those within it, for governments are mere associations of individuals) over the people’s interest.

The founders insisted that no citizen could lose his liberty without the permission of the people through the jury.

With the jury, politicians make laws; the people authorize their enforcement.

Legislation is the work of the majority. If, in addition to legislating, the majority has the power of enforcement, the majority has all power, and the minority is the subject of absolute government.

The founders’ writings establish the idea of involving the people in enforcing the law, with a minority of one out of 12 vetoing any law.

Jury box

John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said, “The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”

Thomas Jefferson

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution,” said Thomas Jefferson.

What he meant is that 12 jurors taken at random must all agree that the law is in the right, or must incur the risk of nonviolent resistance, without any government power to punish those who oppose it. This is how trial by jury prevents the government from tyranny or zealots, woke or conservative, and keeps within the boundaries of the Constitution. Only laws that all, or almost all, the people agree to can be imposed on the people, because only by the unanimous consent of 12 of one’s neighbors and equals can the government punish anyone.

John Adams

John Adams said, “It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty … to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, speaking about the founding fathers, of whom he was one, view of juries’ right to veto bad laws, said, “If they agree on nothing else, (they) concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists of this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty; the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government.”

Juries safeguard liberty by voting ‘not guilty’, even if it hangs the jury. Each juror must vote their conscience. If even one juror views the law as wrong, they can vote not guilty. And this minority vote can hang the jury and prevent a person from being punished by the government.

That is the purpose of the jury, since the Magna Carta and before it. That no one should be punished for breaking an unjust law.

Ask the witches of Salem or escaping slaves…

Thomas Jefferson

According to Jefferson, the right to vote on a jury was more important than the right to vote in elections. As he noted: “Were I called upon to decide whether the people had best be omitted in the Legislative or Judiciary department, I would say it is better to leave them out of the Legislative. The execution of the laws is more important than the making [of] them.”

Voting is based on majority rule.

The jury rejects “the majority rules” – that the larger number has a right to govern the smaller. Trial by jury gives the minority the ability to veto the majority on legislation they think is unjust.

The minority enacts no laws. That requires a majority. The minority merely refuses to consent to such laws as they disapprove by voting not guilty to laws they disapprove of and hang the jury.

Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner wrote:

“For more than six hundred years-that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215-there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused but it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.”

The trial by jury was anciently called “trial per pais” or “trial by the country,” as opposed to a trial by the government.

Spooner wrote:

“The object of this trial ‘by the country,’ or by the people, in preference to a trial by the government, is to guard against every species of oppression by the government. In order to effect this end, it is indispensable that the people, or ‘the country,’ judge of and determine their own liberties against the government; instead of the government’s judging of and determining its own powers over the people. How is it possible that juries can do anything to protect the liberties of the people against the government if they are not allowed to determine what those liberties are? “

The ancient Greeks and Romans held 12-member juries and required unanimity, viewing 12 as a representation of fairness, balance, collective wisdom and completeness, perfection, entirety, or cosmic order in traditions since antiquity.

The number of twelve jurors in jury trials is depicted by Aeschylus in the Eumenides. In the play, the goddess Athena brings about the innovation, when she summons 12 citizens to sit as jury.

Jesus chose 12 apostles. There are 12 months of the year; 12 hours on the clock. Twelve signs of the zodiac.  The 12 Olympians are the principal gods of the Pantheon. They were preceded by 12 Titans.  In ancient Rome, the twelve lictors carried fasces of twelve rods.

There were 12 tribes of Israel. The Chinese use a 12-year cycle for time-reckoning.

In English Common Law, the tradition of 12 jurors dates back to the 10th-century law code introduced by Aethelred the Unready.

Hale’s History of the Common Law, says, “Then twelve, and no less, of such as are indifferent and are returned upon the principal panel, or the tales, are sworn to try the same according to the evidence.”

In Normandy, before the conquest of England by the Normans, “The trial by jury of twelve men was the usual trial among the Normans, in most suits; especially in assizes, et juris utrum.”—Hale’s History of the Common Law.

“It cannot be denied that the practice of submitting causes to the decision of twelve men was universal among all the northern tribes (of Europe) from the very remotest antiquity.”—Crabbe’s History of the English Law

Having 12 jurors provides perspectives and minimizes potential biases or undue influences. By having 12 it is assumed these varied voices represent the county and are a trial by the people.

The laws of human nature do not permit the assumption that twelve men, taken by lot from the mass of the people, will all prove dishonest. Twelve random jurors’ unanimous decision is taken as representing the opinions of the whole country. And no statute, which cannot get the unanimous consent of twelve jurors taken at random from the whole community, can be enforced.


As Spooner wrote:

It is supposed that, if twelve men be taken, by lot, from the mass of the people, without the possibility of any previous knowledge, choice, or selection of them, on the part of the government, the jury will be a fair epitome of “the country” at large, and not merely of the party or faction that sustain the measures of the government; that substantially all classes of opinions, prevailing among the people, will be represented in the jury; and especially that the opponents of the government, (if the government have any opponents,) will be represented there, as well as its friends; that the classes, who are oppressed by the laws of the government, (if any are thus oppressed,) will have their representatives in the jury, as well as those classes, who take sides with the oppressor—that is, with the government


The trial by jury, then, gives to any and every individual the liberty, at any time, to disregard or resist any law whatever of the government, if he be willing to submit to the decision of a jury, the questions, whether the law be intrinsically just and obligatory? and whether his conduct, in disregarding or resisting it, were right in itself?

And any law, which does not, in such trial, obtain the unanimous sanction of twelve men, taken at random from the people, and judging according to the standard of justice in their own minds, free from all dictation and authority of the government, may be transgressed and resisted with impunity, by whomsoever pleases to transgress or resist it.

Other stories on the same topic I wrote: 

2012:  Jury Nullification Has Long History Of Righting Wrong Laws”. Niagara Falls Reporter

2014: Jury Nullification Gave us Freedom of Religion Judge tried to imprison jurors, but one man defied him

2015: Jury Nullification Has Long History of Righting Wrong Laws

2018: Understanding Jury Nullification and why it may save America from the Deep State, Police State


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • “… Bryan Wilson,
    Jury Foreperson

    State of Georgia vs. Wendy Titelman

    Dear Honorable Judge Bodiford and Mr. Pat Head:

    My name is Bryan Wilson and I recently served as a juror on a trial, (April 23-27, 2001) in the Cobb County Superior Court of Georgia.

    Several members of the jury have requested that I write a letter summarizing our thoughts and concerns pertaining to the case we heard; State of Georgia v. Wendy Titelman. To understand why this case even made it to trial was a question each of us had to ask while we were deliberating on Friday.

    We were perplexed as to why our State would pursue such a case so diligently when there were obvious errors in the indictment and credible reports indicating sexual and emotional abuse to two small children and the prosecution of the mother who sought to protect them from harm’s way.

    We, the jury felt that the “State of Georgia” did in fact, neglect to protect these children and furthermore, did not have the children’s bestinterests at heart. It appeared they wished to cover up blatant miss-steps by an agency (DFACS) that appears to have made several errors in judgment.

    I would like to take an opportunity to summarize these areas of concern. I sincerely hope that action can be taken to correct these situations in thefuture. Not only will this save the State of Georgia the expense of prosecuting such flimsy cases, but will also serve to better protect theones who need it most, the CHILDREN of our State.


    1. The “Indictment.”

    The indictment was very poorly written and poorly executed. The dates were inconsistent with the prosecution’s effort to paint the mother as a “lawbreaker and flight risk.” Based on the information we received, the dates listed in the indictment were within the legal limits spelled out in the final divorce decree’s visitation schedule. It is incredible to believe that our court system would put a decent woman in jail for doing something completely legal during the indictment’s window! Very poorly written indictment in our opinion.

    2. The charge of “Fleeing Justice.”

    Based on the evidence presented, we, the jury, were unanimous in agreeing with and supporting Ms. Titelman in her beliefs that there was probable cause to protect her children. The evidence gave strong indication the children were being sexually molested by their father. Ms. Hakes, the Assistant Prosecutor, in her closing statements called Ms. Titelman a “zealot” like Timothy McVeigh for wanting to take the law into her own hands and protect her children. I believe the majority of us on the jury have children. It was also unanimous that had we felt there was reason to believe our children were being abused or neglected in any way, and when seeking help, found the state (who is supposed to protect our children) unwilling to review the evidence in an unbiased light, would have reacted in similar ways.

    3. “Taking the law into her own hands.”

    We, the jury, saw Ms. Titelman as someone desperately trying to use the legal system in Georgia to its fullest extent to protect her children, but to no avail. Then, when discovering more evidence of abuse, was left with no choice but to apply to the State of Mississippi for help. Although Ms.Hakes painted Ms. Titelman as a manipulator and extremist, we felt that she was justified in using whatever means necessary to protect her children.

    Ms. Hakes said over and over during her cross-examinations, “the State ofGeorgia knows best how to protect its children.” We are not so sure after sitting on the jury and seeing first hand the types of “guardians” and “counselors” that the State of Georgia appoints to protect our most precious resources and future taxpayers. Dr. King admitted under oath, the children told her they were being abused.

    Why then do the children remain in the custody of the accused when the State does not appear to have proved otherwise?

    4. “Does Not Deserve Justice!”

    We,the jury, were horrified when Ms. Hakes told us in her closing statements that Ms. Titelman didn’t deserve justice.

    What does that mean?

    Doesn’t everyone deserves justice and aren’t we all innocent until proven guilty?

    For the Assistant Prosecutor to openly say that a citizen doesn’t deserve justice is an outrage and an insult to our justice system.

    5. Court appointed zealots.

    The court appointed Guardians and Counselors were not credible and did all they could not to disclose real findings or intentions. Ms. Woods defied a State of Mississippi court order (within 24 hours) to protect the children from their father until additional hearings could take place and certain evidence be reviewed.

    Ms. King (a supposed expert) interrogated the children for two and one-half hours without taking any notes, or tapes, etc. She then appeared to try and cover up the disclosure of the sexual abuse to the court when asked indirect questioning.

    Therefore, we found that there were several disclosures of sexual abuse but little evidence at all of recantations. Ms. Whitaker went so far as to say the children were “abducted!” This accusation further alienated the jury bydis playing such blatant bias against the mother, Ms. Titelman.

    6. “Paid Expert Witnesses.”

    Ms. Hakes was very careful to point out numerous times that the defense had hired “expert” witnesses who were paid for their services. Where is this wrong? We all got paid for doing what we considered our civil duty.

    Ms. Hakes gets paid, the state appointed guardians and counselors get paid, the judge and court employees get paid, so why did she feel this was such a big deal?

    Ms. Hakes tried to make it a huge deal by claiming the defense had “hired guns.”

    The State’s witnesses were pathetic in our opinion. They were poorly rehearsed, poorly accredited and overtly biased. At one point, Ms. King,when asked a direct question about the children confiding to her that they had been abused by their father, turns to the judge and says,
    “I don’t want to answer that, they may get mad at me.”

    Would the State really get “mad” if she told the truth under oath?

    In conclusion, the jury collectively felt that the divorce of Wendy and Andy Titelman contained deep dividing issues. It was our wish that moreinformation could have been disclosed to assist our decision.

    We all agreed that the children were in all likelihood being sexually abused by their father.
    Also, the custody and well-being of these minor children should be a major concern to Cobb County.

    A new group of unbiased experts needs to re-evaluate this case and bring closure regarding visitation that satisfies all parties if appropriate. It has been an honor to serve as the foreperson of this jury.

    I feel that this jury has served justice, and that the state’s mishandling of this case has cost the taxpayers of Cobb County, Georgia a lot of money.


    Bryan Wilson, Foreperson “


  • We live in a constitutional democracy where the majority rules. Live with it. The majority is usually right.

  • Penn and Mead! What a great story. (2014 article). William Penn was brave but Edward Bushel ends up as the unexpected hero. I really enjoyed reading about this.

  • Are jury’s ever given instruction on jury nullification?

    It’s a right the people have to make decisions regarding verdicts based on their own conscience that may override or be at odds with the law.

    I don’t believe jurors are ever informed of this which could greatly impact verdicts.

    But the judges give the directions. Seems like it should be included as standard requirements to all jurors.

  • This is what’s sorely missing –

    John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said, “The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”

    When something makes no sense, it’s nonsense and should be treated as such.

    We’re sending people who are not a danger to society into prisons. Why?

    There are other deterrents. Prison is being used as political payback- just as grand jury indictments are being used to destroy targeted individuals.

  • Frank
    How was Kris Snyder’ true personality brought out, when, in all the articles about her, Keith’s name was used in the same line.

    How was her true beauty brought out when everyone else was “dogging her?”

    What happened to part 2 of the documentary? What was the whole reason to visit the Snyders, other than to gain attention and info ?

  • I believe this is where our country is at— and the oppression of the people is everywhere.

    “Legislation is the work of the majority. If, in addition to legislating, the majority has the power of enforcement, the majority has all power, and the minority is the subject of absolute government.”

    • The oppression of the people is everywhere.

      I’ve been trying to think of a few examples of where oppression isn’t and can’t think of any at all. Violent warmongering, corrupted courts, mandatory atheism in public schools, suppression of speech, GMOs in the food we eat, polluted air to breathe, propaganda in place of mainstream news, satellites surrounding the earth, 5G … and 10G zapping everyone and everything. Is there anywhere oppression isn’t?

      It’s almost as though the minority that legislates, rules and oppresses today are still the Anglo-Saxons, Egyptians, Canaanites, Phoenicians and/or Templars from a few thousand years ago. Turning nations, religions and races against each other for conquest is an old idea governing minorities still use.

      And how many blue skies have we seen this summer? Two thousand years was apparently enough time for the minority controlling the earth to destroy our air, water and weather. As We the People all over the world take the wheel now — maybe for the first time ever — may our planet be able to avoid the cliff if we’re all not already over it. Those CBDCs are in Europe already and China was caught in the net when Yale created Mao.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com


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