Wow! Wow! Wow!
Note: Do you remember the video "Talking to Police" by Professor James Duane of Regent University Law School? Guess who is the Executive Director of the Fully Informed Jury Assocation (FIJA). Yep. Prof. James Duane. Definitely check out www.fija.org.
And, hunt up and read on-line An Essay on Trial by Jury by Lysander Spooner. If you read just Section I, you will know more about the jury and its role that 99.7% of the people in this country.
And, just a historical note. Trial by jury in this country traces it roots to king Henry II in the late 1100's. At that time, crimes were tried by the Lord of the manor in whose area the offense was allegedly committed. Henry wanted to extend his power. So, he sent royal judges on circuit to the manors and so forth to hear the cases. The judges commanded twelve men and true to testify to the facts of the case. The idea was that the locals would know the details, so the judges would require them to be sworn and tell him what they knew. For some reason, the number twelve stuck, and those twelve eventually evolved into the jury system we know today. My source for this information is a great book: Origins of the Fifth Amendment: The Right Against Self-Incimination by Leonard Levy. Its still in print in paperback. He won a Pulitzer Prize in history for it. Iif you read this book you will fully understand what it cost in blood and treasure and fight to obtain the right against self-incrimination. And, you will fully understand why its a right worth exercising and preserving. The history is amazing. Just amazing.
Oh, the tie in to between the right against self-incrimination and jury trials is oaths. In Henry's time, in some circumstances the accused could swear an oath that he didn't commit the offense and that was the end of it legally speaking This was called the oath of purgation. Over time, things shifted to where the accused was denied the right to testify on his own behalf, even under oath. The rationale being that he would be too prone to lie even under oath. By the 1500's, oaths were used to pressure the accused into answering questions designed to ensnare him. In Tudor England, in religious cases, the accused was required to swear to answer all questions truthfully before he even knew what the questions were (notice the tie-in to today's right to know the charges/hear the indictment before trial). This oath was called the oath ex officio because it was administered often by church officials coming out of their office (ex officio) as church officials and becoming interrogators.