Penn, William - Jury Goes to Prison - EDWARD BUSHELL HOLDS FIRM

The court made a serious misjudgment regarding four of Penn's jurors. Led by the foreman, Edward Bushell (a man of property and substance), they held firm. The other eight gave in to the demands of the court and were freed.

Nine weeks passed. Conditions at Newgate Prison were more than deplorable. Jurors were often soaked in their own urine and smeared with their own feces.

Finally, England's high court got involved.

The Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Vaughn, freed the jurors in response to Bushell's Writ for Habeas Corpus (bring up the body). It was the first time - in a decision known as "Bushell's Case - that the High Court of Common Pleas had issued such a writ. (The link takes you to an actual Writ of Habeas Corpus issued in America during the Civil War.)

Penn's case, and his jury, changed the law. In the future, jurors would not be required to rubberstamp the agenda of government officials.

For the first time, government had met jurors whose "Liberty was not for sale."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 1999

Updated Last Revision: Jul 02, 2015

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"EDWARD BUSHELL HOLDS FIRM" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Mar 23, 2019.
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