what did the john peter zenger court set a precedent for?

4 Answers

  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    No country values free expression more highly than does the United States, and no case in American history stands as a greater landmark on the road to protection for freedom of the press than the trial of a German immigrant printer named John Peter Zenger. On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors, inspired by the eloquence of the best lawyer of the period, Andrew Hamilton, ignored the instructions of the Governor's hand-picked judges and returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" on the charge of publishing "seditious libels." The Zenger trial is a remarkable story of a divided Colony, the beginnings of a free press, and the stubborn independence of American jurors.

    For a detailed accounting of this event go to:


    A small point when you state (in your question) " . . . the John Zenger. . . . " it implies that John Zenger was setting as a member of the court. Stating, " . . . the John Zenger trial . . . " A small point but aids clarity.

  • 1 decade ago

    freedom of speech and freedom of the press

    John Peter Zenger said some bad stuff about William Cosby (the governor of New York). He was arrested and put in jail. Andrew Hamilton (Zenger's lawyer) said that they didn't have the right to prosecute Zenger for libel (criticizing and saying something bad against someone) because what Zaenger said was true. The jurors found him not guilty. It was one of the first times in American history that a lawyer challenged a law as opposed to the innocence of his client. This decision helped to establish that when you are accused of libel, you are allowed to use the truth in your defense. (What Zenger said about the governor was actually true, even if it hurt the governor's reputation.)

  • 3 years ago

    John Zenger Trial

  • 1 decade ago

    He is considered the one responsible for the making of the 1st Amendment to the American Constitution

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