On January 20, the same day I posted "Arizona Denies Right to Jury Trial in DUI Cases" and three months after posting "DUI and the Disappearing Right to Jury Trial", Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Shepard delivered the State of the Judiciary 2005 message In the opening paragraph of the section entitled "Rebuilding the American Jury", he warned:
Something else that’s needed attention for a long time is the way we manage that birthright of all Americans, trial by jury. Most schoolchildren know that when the nobles confronted King John on the field at Runnymeade in 1215 that one of the promises Magna Carta contained was the right to a trial by your peers, but these days the legal press is running stories about the disappearance of the American jury trial. We’ve too long taken it for granted…..
(Thanks to Scott Henson of Austin, Texas.)