In the case that any legal dispute is to enter the litigation process in the courts, both parties are guaranteed the right to a jury trial. A jury is a sworn body of individuals that is gathered by court order for the purpose of rendering an impartial or unbiased verdict. In the case of a trial jury, the jury hears the evidence that is presented by both parties involved in the legal dispute in question.
The judge does not influence the jury to render a decision, however, is involved in the process on the basis that judge may provide for certain instruction or information regarding as to how evidence is to be regarded, or provide for further knowledge in terms of law interpretations. After the claims, arguments, and evidence is presented by both parties, the jury then retires for deliberation, and to render a verdict. All verdicts rendered are contingent to have special considerations such as the decision be unanimous. However, depending on the court’s jurisdiction, the verdict must be rendered to a majority decision.
A jury that does not successfully obtain a majority or unanimous consent on the rendering of a verdict, is considered a hung jury. The number of individuals that comprise a jury will vary, however the most common number tends to be twelve in criminal cases. Civil cases may only require six jurors.
The right to jury trial is granted under Constitutional laws of the United States. The right to a jury trial is guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Under the Sixth Amendment, the right to a jury will be contingent on the nature of the dispute at hand. However, the right to jury is upheld for any applications that can be considered under the umbrella of Common Law. The Sixth Amendment also requires that all juries are to be impartial.
Each participating party in the trial will have the opportunity to question potential jurors to determine if any bias exists so as to avoid a wrongful verdict. If a bias is to be found, the juror may be challenged, and the court will determine whether the claims of bias by a particular party are founded, and thus preventing that particular juror to participate in the jury of that trial. A jury is also to be comprised from is considered to be a “fair cross-section of the community.”
The right to jury trial also includes certain provisions provided by the Sixth Constitution, such as public trial and a speedy trial. Certain provisions are provided so as to protect the accused party from unfair treatment. If such provisions are not adhered to by the court systems, the legal suit itself may be dismissed.