"In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial
by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of
the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."
The right to trial by jury is one of the most frequently mentioned rights in the Bill of Rights - the First
Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution. It was clearly very important to America's
Founding Fathers to be mentioned so many times. The 7th Amendment protects this right in most
Purpose of the 7th Amendment The 7th Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights for several
basic reasons. The American colonists had just endured a period of not being allowed jury trials by
the British government. This grievance was mentioned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of
Independence. The British Crown had created separate courts for the colonists that did not allow
juries to decide the cases. Why did the Crown do this? Because the colonists' juries were
consistently rejecting British law and undermining the wishes of the King and Parliament.
This was one of the colonists' ways of protecting themselves from unjust laws and it leads to the
second reason the Founders included the 7th Amendment in the Bill of Rights - trial by jury
provides a bulwark for the people against the government. Juries are not required to base their
decisions on the wishes of government officials, but can choose to declare a person innocent of a
crime they are accused of committing even if they are guilty. A jury would probably only do this
however, if they believed the law itself was unjust.