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Our trials have evolved

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How we determine guilt or innocence is something quite different than how it began.

By Lisa King

The practice of trial by jury can be traced back to the year 1215, when King John of England signed the Magna Carter (with a sword to his throat), granting many freedoms, including a trial by jury of one’s peers.

The jury trial existed before that, but jurors were hand picked by the king.

Pre-existing forms of justice in England included trial by combat in the year 1086, where the winner was considered in the right. Participants could also hire someone to fight for them.


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