Free Press v. Fair Trial: Supreme Court Decisions since 1807

By Douglas S. Campbell | Go to book overview

Reynolds v. U.S.

George Reynolds v. United States Docket No. 1878-180 98 U.S. 145, 25 L.Ed. 244, 8 Otto 10 ( 1878) Motion submitted February 13, 1878. Decided February 18, 1878. Argued November 14, 15, 1878. Re-decided January 4, 1879. Modified May 5, 1879.


Background

Reynolds v. U.S. contains the Court's first historical analysis of what constitutes an impartial juror and the very first guidelines governing the process for determining the constitutionality of a juror's opinion about the guilt or innocence of an accused. In Reid v. U.S. ( 1851) the Court only reluctantly addressed this issue, declining to set down a "general rule." Therefore, before Reynolds, the primary guidance from the Supreme Court came from Chief Justice John Marshall's ruling seventy years earlier in his role as judge in a circuit court of original jurisdiction, a role assigned to him by the Judiciary Act of 1789.

Marshall asserted that the trial judge must not take the word of prospective jurors that they have not formed an unconstitutional opinion about the accused's guilt. Instead, he said the judge should "test" jurors' assertions of impartiality by asking them to declare their lack of bias in court and then evaluating firsthand the truth of their statements. Thus Marshall felt that the trial judge should, through close questioning, evaluate the sincerity of statements by persons who had avowedly formed thoughts about the guilt of an accused.

Marshall also felt that prospective jurors must have "delivered the opinion" they "made up" before they could be considered unconstitutionally impartial. Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite noted that, while unexpressed opinions tend to indicate opinions that are lightly held, at times, unconstitutionally strong opinions do remain unexpressed by a juror.

The primary focus of the case, however, was not jury prejudice but religion. George Reynolds, personal secretary to Brigham Young, asked the Court to assert that Mormon polygamy was protected by the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. He challenged the constitutionality of a

-23-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Free Press v. Fair Trial: Supreme Court Decisions since 1807
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 253

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.