A jury is a group of people who decide the answer to a question in a court room. Usually, this question is whether a person is guilty or innocent of committing a crime. A jury may also be responsible for deciding a penalty for the person if he is found guilty. Normally, all members of the jury have to agree on the decision. Sometimes, the jury can still make a decision even if a few members don't agree with it. However, if the jury is quite clearly divided, the result is known as a hung jury and the case is not decided. A member of a jury is called a juror. A juror is supposed to be impartial. This means that he or she is to be fair and listen to both sides of the story without deciding what side they will take ahead of time.
Types of juries
- A petit jury also called a trial jury is one made up of from 6 to 12 jurors.
- A grand jury is called by a prosecutor to decide if there is probable cause to believe someone has committed a crime. If so, the Grand jury returns an indictment against the defendant.
Juries by country
A jury in the United Kingdom is made up of 12 people for criminal cases and 10 people for civil cases (or 15 people in Scotland) these people are selected at random and are British citizens with no criminal record. Members are chosen from the electoral register for their local area and those chosen must attend jury duty.
In the United States, juries are made up of 12 regular people from the area in which the trial is held and are not members of the court system. They are paid a small amount for their service.
Images for kids
An empty jury box at an American courtroom in Pershing County, Nevada
Jury Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.