Presentation on theme: "The Trial of John Peter Zenger (August 4, 1735) ages/zenger_tryal_illustration.jpg."— Presentation transcript:
The Trial of John Peter Zenger (August 4, 1735) http://www.courts.state.ny.us/history/im ages/zenger_tryal_illustration.jpg
Background to Case Zenger was a German printer who worked for the New York Weekly Journal He wrote articles that criticized NY governor, William Cosby Cosby had Zenger arrested for “seditious libel” http://www.webster.edu/fatc/zengpic2.jpg http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zen ger/freespeech.htm
Arguments of Case Prosecution argued that Zenger “wickedly and maliciously” printed articles against the governor and his ministers –Zenger legally couldn’t defend himself by trying to prove that he published the truth Zenger’s lawyer, Andrew Hamilton, argued that the truth should determine if the articles were libelous or not http://www.lib.umd.edu/RARE/IMG/Mdprinting /zenger.gif
Verdict of Case The jury only took a “short time” to rule not guilty in favor of Zenger –Jury initiated the practice of jury nullification The case opened the turn for the freedom of press rights found in Bill of Rights (1789) http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/graphics/zenger trial.jpg
Issues/Discussion Questions Is it dangerous for a jury to use jury nullification? What reaction did the verdict have with gov’t officials? Common people? Is it fair for the gov’t to limit free speech in times of “national security”? http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/plegal/scales/ze nger.gif
Work Cited http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proje cts/ftrials/zenger/zenger.htmlhttp://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proje cts/ftrials/zenger/zenger.html –Great source for selected primary sources, summary, images, Dershowitz, Alan M. America on Trial. Warner Books: New York, 2004. –Discusses briefly details of case and the significance of Zenger case to modern America http://www.uark.edu/depts/comminfo/c ambridge/zenger.htmlhttp://www.uark.edu/depts/comminfo/c ambridge/zenger.html –Complete court record of Alexander Hamilton’s defense of John Peter Zenger http://www.law.uh.edu/teacher/zenger/ –Brief summary of Zenger case http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/plegal/scales/z enger2.gif
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