Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Nathaniel W. Dean, Appellant, v. William Charlton, Treasurer, &C., and Others, Respondents
The American Law Register (1852-1891)
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... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com. People v. Jenners, 5 Mich. 305; Maher v. People, 10 Id..212; and Durant v. People, 13 Id. 351. The trial of criminal cases is by a jury of the country, and not by the court. The jurors, and they alone, are to judge of the facts and weigh the evidence. The law has established this tribunal because it is believed that from its members, the mode of their selection, and the fact that the jurors come from all classes of society, they are better calculated to judge of motives, weigh probabilities, and take what may be called a common-sense view of a set of circumstances involving both act and intent, than any single man, however pure and eminent he may be. This is the theory of the law, and as applied to criminal accusations it is eminently wise and favorable alike to liberty and to justice. But to give it full effect the jury must be left to weigh the evidence and to examine the alleged motives by their own tests. They cannot properly be furnished for the purpose with balances which leave them no discretion, but'which, under certain circumstances, will compel them to find a malicious intent when they cannot conscientiously say they believe such an intent to exist. Upon a full consideration of this case, we are compelled to say we find some errors in the record, for which the conviction should be set aside, and a new trial awarded. Where a city charter required that all work should be let by contract to the lowest bidder, held, that the city authorities could not contract at all for laying the Nicholson pavement, the right to lay it being a patented right and owned by a single firm, and, therefore, the work being one which could not be open to competition. PAINE , J.-This was a bill in equity to enjoin the sale of the plaintiff's lands for an assessment imposed upon them for paving the streets in front of them with what is known as the Nicholson pavement. It is claimed that the proceedings failed in several I We are indebted for the opinion in this case to the Hon. O. M. CONOVER, Reporter for the State of Wisconsin.-EDs. AM. LAW REG.