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Any other interpretation strikes the word
"knowingly" out of the statute, the word which alone describes
the essence of the offense. The statute means, as your petitioner
is advised, and humbly submits, a knowledge in fact, not a
knowledge falsely imputed by law to a party not possessing it in
fact, as the judge in this case has held. Crimes can not, either
in law or in morals, be established by judicial falsehood. If
there be any crime in the case, your petitioner humbly insists it
is to be found in such an adjudication.

To the decision of the judge upon the question of the right of
your petitioner to vote, she makes no complaint. It was a
question properly belonging to the court to decide, was fully and
fairly submitted to the judge, and of his decision, whether right
or wrong, your petitioner is well aware she can not here
complain. But in regard to her conviction of crime, which she
insists, for the reasons above given, was in violation of the
principles of the common law, of common morality, of the statute
under which she was charged, and of the Constitution--a crime of
which she was as innocent as the judge by whom she was
convicted--she respectfully asks, inasmuch as the law has
provided no means of reviewing the decisions of the judge, or of
correcting his errors, that the fine imposed upon your petitioner
be remitted, as an expression of the sense of this high tribunal
that her conviction was unjust.

Dated January 12, 1874. SUSAN B. ANTHONY.

In the Senate of the United States, June 20, 1874, Mr. Edmunds
submitted the following report:

_The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill_
(S. 391) _to enable Susan B. Anthony to pay a fine imposed upon
her by the District Court for the Northern District of New York,
and a petition praying for the remission of said fine, report:_

That they are not satisfied that the action of the Court was such
as represented in the petition, and that, if it were so, the
Senate could not legally take any action in the premises, and
move that the Committee be discharged from the further
consideration of the petition, and that the bill be postponed
indefinitely.

Mr. Carpenter asked, and obtained, leave of the Senate to present the
following as the views of the minority:

_The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the
memorial of_ SUSAN B. ANTHONY, _praying to be relieved from a
certain judgment, rendered against her by the Circuit Court of
the United States for the Northern District of New York:_

* * * * *

The majority of the Committee have determined that inasmuch as
the relief prayed for by the memorial can not be granted, the
Committee will ask to be discharged from its further
consideration, and will not express any opinion as to the
correctness or incorrectness of the course pursued on the trial
of Miss Anthony.

The House of Lords in England or the Senate of the United States
may engage in any investigation looking to legislation, although,
as an incident to, or a result of, such investigation, it may
appear that some officer who is impeachable has been guilty of
conduct for which he might be impeached. Then, surely, in a case
like this, where there is neither suggestion nor suspicion of
corrupt conduct on the part of the estimable judge before whom
the trial was conducted, it can not be improper for a committee
of the Senate to inquire whether, in the trial of a citizen for
alleged violation of the laws of the United States, a precedent
dangerous to the liberties of every citizen has been set. Indeed,
the injurious effect of every judicial departure from sound
principle is in proportion to the eminence and purity of the
judge by whom it is committed. The outrages perpetrated by
Scroggs and Jeffreys in the administration of criminal justice
were grievous upon the individuals unjustly or illegally
convicted, but do no harm as precedents. A vicious precedent, set
by an infamous judge, is harmless; while a similar violation of
the law by a pure and upright magistrate is attended by
far-reaching and detrimental consequences.

It is fashionable, we know, just now to heap contumely upon women
who demand to be allowed to enjoy their civil political rights.
Ridicule is the chief weapon employed against them, and is freely
applied to all who advocate their cause. Gentlemen who would
blush to be thought negligent in the offices of frivolous
gallantry lack the manhood to accord to women their substantial
rights. And, strange to say, ladies dwelling in luxurious ease
join with the fops of society to cast contempt upon the earnest
aspirations of woman for the possession of her just rights. We
have acted upon the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence,
so far as to make all men equal before the law; but women, our
mothers, our wives, our sisters, and our daughters, we condemn to
inequality--many to servitude. But the cry of women, who, in
poverty and want, are driven from the employments of honest
industry to indulgence in vice and to the haunts of shame, is
rising on every hand, and appeals to the heart with as much power
as the wailings of a slave beneath the lash of his master.

The wrongs of Martin Koszta in a foreign land touched the heart
of the nation. But the denial of her rights to Miss Susan B.
Anthony in a court of the Union is thought to be unworthy the
attention of the American Senate. To those who are indifferent
whether a woman be deprived of or be permitted to enjoy even the
rights which are secured to her by the Constitution, it may be
suggested that a bad precedent set in the trial of a woman who
has presumed to express her choice as to those who should make
laws for her, laws by which her rights are to be affected and her
property be taxed, may stand in the way of some man's rights
hereafter. It may yet happen, in the revolutions of time, that
some one of the majority of your committee may be subjected to an
unjust and false accusation, which must be submitted to the
judgment of twelve men in the jury-box or of one man on the
bench; twelve men fresh from the people and warmed with the
instinctive sympathies of humanity, or one man, separated from
the people by his station and by the habits of a life passed in
seclusion and study. A jury-trial must be the same whether a man
or woman be arraigned. And the subject under consideration is
important even to men who are regardless of the rights of women.

I shall, therefore, proceed to inquire, as I think the committee
ought to have done, whether the memorialist has been deprived, as
she alleges, of the right of trial by jury secured to her by the
Constitution of the United States. The memorialist claims that
the court erred in its ruling, and in taking the case from the
jury and directing a verdict against her; and also in refusing to
have the jury polled in regard to their verdict; and she prays
that her fine may be remitted by act of Congress.

The first question is, whether in a criminal trial, plea not
guilty, the jury have a right to render a general verdict
involving questions of law as well as fact, under instructions by
the court upon matters of law; or whether, when the testimony is
not conflicting, the court may take the case from the jury and
direct a verdict of guilty to be entered.

It is the practice in civil causes for the court, if there is no
conflict in the evidence, to direct a verdict for the plaintiff
or for the defendant, because in such case the court may set
aside a verdict and grant a new trial in favor of plaintiff or
defendant. It would, therefore, be a barren form to require the
jury to deliberate and find a verdict in a case where if the
verdict was not one way, the court would set it aside and order a
new trial, and so on, until a verdict should be found that was
satisfactory to the court. So in practice it is usual for the
court to direct the jury to acquit the prisoner in a criminal
case; because, if the jury find against the prisoner, the court
may set the verdict aside and order a new trial, and continue to
do so until a verdict of acquittal shall be rendered; though it
is doubtful whether, even in a civil cause, the court could
refuse to let the jury be polled, or could enter a verdict for
the jury to which they did not agree. The court could direct the
jury what to do, and set aside the verdict if they did otherwise;
but it is not admitted that, even in a civil cause, the court
could enter a verdict against the wishes of the jury.

But at the common law and in the Federal courts it is certain
that where the jury render a verdict of acquittal, even against
the evidence and the instructions of the court on propositions of
law, the court can not set aside the verdict and order another
trial. From this it follows that the court can not take from the
jury this power of acquittal in a criminal case, by directing and
compelling a verdict against the prisoner, and refusing to have
the jury polled. But the importance of this question requires its
examination not only in the light of reason, but of authority.
The Constitution of the United States provides:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the
right to a speedy and a public trial by an impartial jury of
the State and district wherein the crime shall have been
committed, etc.

The Constitution does not define or regulate the trial by jury,
but secures it as it was then known to the common law.



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