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The trial of Thomas Hardy (political reformer)
The trial of Thomas Hardy (political reformer) is dramatised in Garrow’s Law, a BBC dramatisation based on Hardy’s trial (episode 4, series 1)
The Defender of Hardy was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Erskine,_1st_Baron_Erskine
The Dramatised closing argument whether based on Erskines' actual performance or not certainly can't do him much of an injustice.
Gentlemen of the jury, When we speak of liberty we speak of the liberty of thought and speech and action that every Englishman was born with. It is not a thing granted to him by the King and his counsellors and so not to be taken from him by those councellors. It musdt never be taken from him!
Beware of the role this trial will play in the history of our nation . Be aware that if the prosecution have their way each one of you will be seen as criminal first and Citizen second. Be aware that powers ceded to the government in times of fear are rarely removed from statute. The power of the government to arrest and imprison a man without charge , this removal of his right to know what he is accused of if, it achieves its aim today, be sure it will stay. Be aware that if this imperfect trial finds this man guilty 800 more will be given the same unjust treatment . 800 whose names are on this list .
It good fortune of the Government and its secret committees that it fell into my safe hands. 800 warrants for the arrest of innocent men, assumed to be guilty. Some of those names are in this court today. I see names here of those in the public gallery , names of others on the lawyers bench, I even see my own name among them , there is even the name of one sat before me in the jury.
Be aware that if you send this man to the gallows today you should be prepared to follow him tomorrow. I trust in god you will give your verdict of acquitall for the prisoner.
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