Under the legal systems of England and Wales, and also of Scotland, a person accused of a serious crime who pleads ‘not guilty’ to the crime will be tried by a jury. Juries also hear some civil cases (= disagreements between people about their rights) and decide whether a person is ‘liable’ (= required by law to do or pay something) or ‘not liable’. In the US juries are also used in both criminal and civil cases, though the rules vary from state to state.
  In Britain jurors (= jury members) are selected at random for each trial from lists of adults who have the right to vote. They must be between the ages of 18 and 70 and have lived in Britain for at least five years. Members of the armed forces, the legal profession and the police force are not allowed to sit on juries. Anybody called for jury service usually has to attend court for about two weeks, although some cases may go on for much longer. The court pays only their expenses and if they have a job they are paid as normal by their employer. In England and Wales 12 people sit on a jury, in Scotland 15. A larger number of people are asked to attend court and the final jury is selected at random from among them. The rest are discharged. Lawyers representing either side in a case have the right to object to a particular person being on the jury.
  After the jury has heard the evidence presented by both sides, it retires to the jury room, a private room, to discuss the case. When all members of the jury agree they return their verdict, go back into court and say whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. In Scotland they can also return a verdict of not proven, which means that guilt in the case has not been proved and the accused can go free. The verdict is announced by the foreman (= the person chosen by the jury as their leader). Sometimes the jury cannot all agree and the judge may accept a majority verdict, provided that no more than two members of the jury disagree. If no verdict is reached the trial is abandoned and started again with a different jury. It is not the responsibility of the jury to decide punishment, though in certain civil cases they may decide how much compensation should be paid.
  In the US most juries have 12 members, though some have only six. Otherwise the system is very similar to that in England and Wales. When people are called for jury duty they must go, but people who cannot leave their jobs or homes can be excused. Before a trial begins lawyers ask questions to see if jurors are impartial, i.e. do not have strong opinions that would prevent them making a decision based on the facts. Lawyers can challenge for cause, if they can give the judge a good reason why somebody should not be a juror. They also have a number of peremptory challenges which means they can object to somebody without giving a reason. In some trials it can be difficult to find 12 people who are impartial, especially if a case has received a lot of publicity. Lawyers sometimes do research to find out what kind of person is most likely to support his or her side, and use challenges to keep other people off the jury. In a criminal trial the jury decides whether the accused person is guilty or innocent, but does not decide on a punishment. In a civil trial they may decide how much money should be paid in compensation. A majority decision is usually acceptable.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Juries — Jury Ju ry, n.; pl. {Juries}. [OF. jur[ e]e an assize, fr. jurer to swear, L. jurare, jurari; akin to jus, juris, right, law. See {Just},a., and cf. {Jurat}, {Abjure}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Law) A body of people, selected according to law,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • juries — ju·ry || dÊ’ÊŠrɪ / dÊ’ÊŠÉ™ n. group of persons who are chosen to hear evidence and render a verdict in a court of law; panel of judges, judging committee (as in a contest) v. judge by means of a jury; evaluate by way of a jury; judge an art… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • juries — plural of jury present third singular of jury …   Useful english dictionary

  • Juries in Japan — The jury law was first introduced to Japan in 1923 by the leadership of the Prime Minister Kato Tomosaburo. The jury system was not used very often at that time. The jury law has been suspended since 1943. New law On May 28, 2004, Diet of Japan… …   Wikipedia

  • Los Juríes — Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Los Juries — Original name in latin Los Jures Name in other language Los Juries, Los Jures State code AR Continent/City America/Argentina/Cordoba longitude 28.46539 latitude 62.10862 altitude 93 Population 3212 Date 2012 02 02 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • jurors — ➡ juries * * * …   Universalium

  • sit on — ➡ juries * * * …   Universalium

  • called for jury service — ➡ juries * * * …   Universalium

  • discharged — ➡ juries * * * …   Universalium

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