Whoever would be obliged to obey a constitutional law, is justified in refusing to obey an unconstitutional act of the legislature. When a question, even of this delicate nature, occurs, every one who is called to act, has a right to judge.
Cowardice asks the question: Is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: Is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: Is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: Is it right?
And there comes a time one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular -- but one must take it simply because it is right.
Martin Luther King
It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty . . . to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition of the court.
2 John Adam's Works 253-55 by Charles Francis Adams (Books for Libraries Press 1969) (1850-56).
When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.
I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
Letter to Thomas Paine in 1789.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, 7 THE WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 408 (Lipscomb and Bergh, ed., Memorial ed., 1903).