God and my country

GOD AND MY COUNTRY. When a prisoner is arraigned, he is asked, How will you be tried? he answers, "By God and my country." This practice arose when the prisoner had the right to choose the mode of trial, namely, by ordeal or by jury, and then he elected by God or by his country, that is, by jury. It is probable that originally it was "By God or my country" for the question asked supposes an option in the prisoner, and the answer is meant to assert his innocence by declining neither sort of trial. 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 416; Barr. on the Stat. 73, note.