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That you are empowered to pass sentence of imprisonment I prove by this argument; and I take it that everybody will agree that to invalidate judicial decisions is monstrous, impious, and subversive of popular government. Our commonwealth, gentlemen of the jury, is administered by laws and by votes of the people; and if once decisions by vote are repealed by a new law, where will be the end of it? Can we justly call this thing a law? Is it not rather the negation of law? Does not such a lawgiver merit our strongest resentment?

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