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The 7th Amendment of the Bill of Rights - Essay Sample

3 pages
679 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Practically, it is difficult to watch out for someone's rights if they are not explicit. It was for this reason that the Constitution was not ratified until 1791 when it had defined the individual rights necessary to safeguard individual liberty. The individual rights were defined in the form of the ten amendments to the Constitution which constituted the Bill of Rights. Although the ten amendments that make up the Bill of rights are al crucial in protecting individual liberty, the most interesting one is the 7th amendment because it ensures that justice is reinstated to a hurt party through fair judgment and rightful compensation.

The 7th amendment to the Constitution states that in suits at common law where the dispute involves a value more than twenty dollars, a right to jury trial is preserved. The facts tried by a jury are not otherwise re-examined by any Court in America than as stated by the rules of common law (Tidmarsh, 2016).

In the 7th amendment, the founding fathers of America critically imagined the importance of fairness in civil cases. As a result, they thought that perhaps to reinstate the justice for a hurt party in a civil case, jury trial rather than a bench judgment would be more appropriate. There are arguments to support why a jury would be fairer in determining a civil case than a judge. According to Simpson (2016), the standard of proof in a civil case is usually lower than it is in a criminal case. Judges, unlike juries, have a firmer snatch on the burden of proof and how it can swing based on defenses and proofs made throughout the entire case. Juries mostly understand and adhere to the burden of preponderance of the evidence, which is the most important in civil cases (Simpson, 2016). Consequently, the juries will easily establish that plaintiffs have demonstrated a preponderance of the evidence that suits their case. It then becomes easy for the plaintiff to focus on available recovery to reinstate justice than wasting energy on legal minutiae of every probable defense that might need to overcome.

Also, juries offer much easier and incorruptible audiences than judges. Juries listen to a case as it unfolds through arguments and testimonies then determine who should win whereas judges determine a case based on legal nuances and delicate understanding of the law (Simpson, 2016). Thus, a judge would render an unfamiliar judgment than a jury would due to the influence of experience in legal training. This may not reflect justice for the plaintiff, rather a judgment according to the law which may be biased. Similarly, the founding fathers imagined that a single judge determining a case could easily be bribed unlike a jury of five or more members judging the same case (Llewellyn, 2016). As a result, justice would be likely realized through a jury trial in civil cases than through bench judgment.

Therefore, the 7th amendment in the Bill of Rights is an interesting one since the founding fathers of the United States reasoned that by allowing any civil case that involved a value of more than twenty dollars to be determined through juries would yield a more fair and just determination than when a single judge determines the case. This is because a judge would require a high standard of proof which would exceed the determination of justice in a civil case. Also, a judge would be bribed unlike juries and that the judge would deliver a ruling based on legal nuances rather than the facts that should determine who should win the case. Justice and fairness is all everyone wishes to reign and that is why the 7th amendment was an interesting clause to prevent the liberties of each citizen when hurt through infringement of property rights.


Llewellyn, K. N. (2016). The common law tradition: Deciding appeals (Vol. 16). Quid Pro Books.

Simpson, E. (2016). Slapp-ing down the Right to a Jury Trial: Anti-Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation and the Seventh Amendment. U. Tol. L. Rev., 48, 169.

Tidmarsh, J. (2016). The English Fire Courts and the American Right to Civil Jury Trial. The University of Chicago Law Review, 1893-1941.

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