The Apparent Political Selection of Federal Grand Juries in Virginia, 1789-1809

American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 49, p. 257, 2007

U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1547191

45 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2010  

Wythe Holt

University of Alabama School of Law

Brent Tarter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Many charges were made in the early decades of Virginia's adherence to the federal union that membership on the state's federal court grand juries was often granted for overt political reasons. By exploring three notorious instances - the 1797 grand jury presentment of Jeffersonian Congressman Samuel J. Cabell, the 1800 indictment of Jeffersonian propagandist James Thompson Callendar, and the 1807 indictment of former Jeffersonian Vice President Aaron Burr - it is shown that the charges were very likely true. The article also provides background information on the importance of petit and grand juries in the early Republic.

Suggested Citation

Holt, Wythe and Tarter, Brent, The Apparent Political Selection of Federal Grand Juries in Virginia, 1789-1809 (2007). American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 49, p. 257, 2007; U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1547191. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1547191

Wythe Holt (Contact Author)

University of Alabama School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Brent Tarter

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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