Page:American Archives, Series 4, Volume 1.djvu/116

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BILL FOR GOVERNMENT OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY.

sentatives in the General Court; and that no other matter shall be treated of at such meetings, except the election of their aforesaid officers or Representatives, nor at any other meeting, except the business expressed in the leave given by the Governor, or, in his absence, by the Lieutenant Governor.

And whereas the method at present used in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in America, of electing persons to serve on Grand Juries, and other juries, by the freeholders and inhabitants of the several towns, affords occasion for many evil practices, and tends to pervert the free and impartial administration of justice: for remedy whereof, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the respective times appointed for the holding of the General Sessions of the Peace, in the several counties within the said Province, next after the month of September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four, the Jurors to serve at the Superior Courts of Judicature, Courts of Assize, General Gaol Delivery, General Sessions of the Peace, and Inferior Court of Common Pleas, in the several counties within the said Province, shall not be elected, nominated, or appointed, by the freeholders and inhabitants of the several towns within the said respective counties, nor summoned or returned by the Constables of the said towns; but that, from thenceforth, the Jurors to serve at the Superior Courts of Judicature, Courts of Assize, General Gaol Delivery, General Sessions of the Peace, and Inferior Court of Common Pleas, within the said Province, shall be summoned and returned by the Sheriffs of the respective counties within the said Province; and all writs of Venire Facias, or other process or warrants to be issued for the return of Jurors to serve at the said Courts, shall be directed to the Sheriffs of the said counties respectively, any law, custom, or usage, to the contrary notwithstanding.

Provided always, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That wherever the Sheriff of any county shall happen to be a party, or interested or related to any party or person interested in any prosecution or suit depending in any of the said Courts, that then, in such case, the writ of Venire Facias, or other process or warrant for the summoning and return of a Jury, for the trial of such prosecution or suit, shall be directed to, and executed by, the Coroner of such county; and in case such Coroner shall be also a party, or interested in, or related to, any party or person interested in such prosecution or suit, then the Venire Facias, or other process or warrant, for the summoning and return of a Jury for the trial of such prosecution or suit, shall be directed to, and executed by, a proper and indifferent person, to be appointed for that purpose by the Court wherein such prosecution or suit shall be depending.

And that all Sheriffs may be better informed of persons qualified to serve on Juries at the Superior Courts of Judicature, Courts of Assize, General Gaol Delivery, General Sessions of the Peace, and Inferior Court of Common Pleas, within the said Province, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Constables of the respective towns, within the several counties of the said Province, shall, at the General Sessions of the Peace, to be holden for each county, next after the month of September, in every year, upon the first day of the said Sessions, return and deliver to the Justices of the Peace, in open Court, a true list, in writing, of the names and places of abode of all persons within the respective towns for which they serve, or the districts thereof, qualified to serve upon Juries, with their titles and additions, between the age of one and twenty years, and the age of seventy years; which said Justices, or any two of them, at the said Sessions in the respective counties, shall cause to be delivered a duplicate of the aforesaid lists, by the Clerk of the Peace of every county, to the Sheriffs, or their Deputies, within ten days after such Sessions; and cause each of the said lists to be fairly entered into a book, by the Clerk of the Peace, to be by him provided, and kept for that purpose amongst the records of the said Court; and no Sheriff shall empannel or return any person or persons to serve upon any Grand Jury, or Petit Jury, whatsoever, in any of the said Courts that shall not be named or mentioned in such list: and, to prevent the failure of justice, through the neglect of Constables to make such returns of persons qualified to serve on such Juries, as in and by this Act is directed, the Clerks[108] of the Peace of the said several counties are hereby required and commanded, twenty days at least next before the month of September, yearly, and every year, to issue forth precepts or warrants, under their respective hands and seals, to the respective Constables of the several towns within the said respective counties, requiring them, and every of them, to make such return of persons qualified to serve upon Juries as hereby respectively directed; and every Constable failing at anytime to make and deliver such return to the Justices in open Court, as aforesaid, shall forfeit and incur the penalty of five pounds sterling to his Majesty, and his successors, to be recovered by bill, plaint, or information, to be prosecuted in any of the Courts aforesaid; and, in order that the Constables may be the better enabled to make complete lists of all persons qualified to serve on Juries, the Constables of the several towns shall have free liberty, at all seasonable times, upon request by them made to any officer or officers, who shall have in his or their custody any book or account of rates or taxes on the freeholders or inhabitants within such respective towns, to inspect the same, and take from thence the names of such persons qualified to serve on Juries, dwelling within the respective towns for which such lists are to he given in and returned, pursuant to this Act; and shall, in the month of September, yearly, and every year, upon two or more Sundays, fix upon the door of the church, chapel, and every other public place of religious worship, within their respective precincts, a true and exact list of all such persons intended to be returned to the said General Sessions of the Peace, as qualified to serve on Juries, pursuant to the directions of this Act; and leave at the same time a duplicate of such list with the Town Clerk of the said place, to be perused by the freeholders and inhabitants thereof, to the end that notice may be given of persons duly qualified who are omitted, or of persons inserted by mistake who ought to be omitted out of such lists; and it shall and may be lawful to and for the Justices, at the General Sessions of the Peace to which the said list shall be so returned, upon due proof made before them of any person or persons duly qualified to serve on Juries being omitted in such lists, or of any person or persons being inserted therein who ought to have been omitted, to order his or their name or names to be inserted or struck out, as the case may require: and in case any Constable shall wilfully omit, out of such list, any person or persons, whose name or names ought to be inserted, or shall wilfully insert any person or persons who ought to be omitted, every Constable so offending, shall, for every person so omitted or inserted in such list, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this Act, be fined by the said Justices, in the said General Sessions of the Peace, in the sum of forty shillings sterling.

Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case default shall at any time hereafter be made, by any Constable or Constables, to return lists of persons qualified to serve on Juries within any of the said towns to the said Court of General Sessions of the Peace, then, and in such case, it shall and may be lawful for the Sheriff of the county, in which such default shall be made, to summon and return to the several Courts aforesaid, or any of them, such and so many persons dwelling in such towns, or the districts thereof, qualified to serve on Juries, as he shall think fit to serve on Juries at such respective Courts; any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every summons of any person, to serve upon any of the Juries at the said Courts, or any of them, shall be made by the Sheriff, or other person, ten days at the least before the holding of every such Court; and in case any Jurors, so to be summoned, be absent from the usual place of his habitation at the time of such summons, notice of such summons shall be given, by leaving a note, in writing, under the hand of such Sheriff, or person, containing the contents thereof, at the dwelling house of such Juror, with some person inhabiting in the same.

Provided always, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case a sufficient number of persons qualified to serve on Juries shall not appear at the said Courts, or any of them, to perform the service of Grand or Petit Jurors, that then, and in such case, it shall be lawful for the said Court to issue a writ or precept to