John Peter Zenger publishes a series of articles in which he criticizes the governor of New York.
The Governor orders the New York Weekly Journal burned and has Zenger arrested.
On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors acquitted Zenger of seditious libel. He had been arrested and charged with seditious libel for printing statements in the New York Weekly Journal that were critical of colonial Governor William Cosby’s arbitrary rule.
Life with the first Amendment
Zenger’s defense lawyer argued that Zenger was not guilty of libel because the statements against Cosby were true. However, under English law, the mere fact that a printer published statements that were critical of the government constituted seditious libel, regardless of their veracity.
The judges said that he was not guilty when it came t o the jury's decision.
We would have the freedom of speech with a lot of other freedoms that we are now given.