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What is proposed in the present article is to show that in attempting to preserve the independence of the jury in its exclusive juris- diction over questions of fact, the people and the courts in most American jurisdictions have departed from the common law practice and have introduced a principle calculated to undermine the very institution which they wish to strengthen. That is to say, through the rules prohibiting judges from commenting on the weight of the evidence, juries tend to become irresponsible, verdicts tend to become matters of chance, and the intricacy of procedure, with its cost, delay and liability to error, has increased so much as to threaten popular respect for courts of justice.