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Jury

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  • Juries add an element of populism to the otherwise lawyer-dominated judicial process in the United States of America.
  • Defendants in criminal cases may request for a jury.
  • Not many defendants go for a jury because there is a strong conviction that a jury trial draws more severe penalties.
  • No appeal is possible if a jury acquits in a criminal case.
  • Many civil trials go through with the help of a jury.
  • Generally the members of a jury are picked for a single trial or for a period of two-weeks. These number change from state to state in the US.
  • Jurors do not receive any special training.
  • Jurors are picked from voting lists, driving license data etc. so as to get a cross section of the population.
  • After hearing a trial, jury members go through deliberations among themselves away from the Judge or other legal advisors so as to arrive at a jury decision.
  • Statistics show that in as many as 88% cases, the jury decision and the decision arrived by the judge are the same.
  • Jury trial is less common in cases involving corporations. Galentar says that more than half of all contract trials are put before the judge without a jury.

Jury system in UK

  • UK Criminal Justice Act 1967 states that if a Jury consists of 11 or more Jurors, unanimity of 10 judges is required to convict (9 in case there are 10 jurors).

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