Hung Jury


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Hung Jury

A trial jury duly selected to make a decision in a criminal case regarding a defendant's guilt or innocence, but who are unable to reach a verdict due to a complete division in opinion.

When a jury has been given an adequate opportunity to deliberate and is unable to reach a verdict, a retrial takes place at the discretion of the prosecution. The subsequent trial does not constitute a violation of the constitutional prohibition of Double Jeopardy.

hung jury

n. slang for a hopelessly deadlocked jury in a criminal case, in which neither side is able to prevail. Usually it means there is no unanimous verdict (although in Oregon and Louisiana 10 of 12 jurors can convict or acquit). If the jury is hung the trial judge will declare a mistrial. A new trial from scratch, with a new jury panel, is required. The prosecutor can decide not to re-try the case, particularly if a majority of the jury favored acquittal. (See: jury, dismissal, trial, mistrial)

References in periodicals archive ?
Whenever a prosecutor brings a case and gets a hung jury, he has to ask himself if this is something worth going after.
53) For the hung jury study, the NCSC collected information from trial courts in the Central Criminal Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, California; the Maricopa County Superior Court (Phoenix), Arizona; the Bronx County Supreme Court, New York; and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2001.
Jurors Robert Gourley, Claudia Torres, and Edine Woods have said that they did not want to support a guilty verdict for the Border Patrol agents and would have held out for a hung jury, except that they were improperly instructed that that was not an option.
The trial of Roy Wright ended in a hung jury when one juror held out for life imprisonment because of Wright's --.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Porter declares a hung jury in the first-degree murder trial of Jonathan Tolliver, an African American 19-year-old and alleged gang member charged with murdering Chicago Police Officer Michael Ceriale in 1998.
Strictly speaking, it is the symmetry, not the voting rule, that ensures juries will deadlock; any two-way voting rule, even simple majority, would allow for a hung jury as long as the panel comprises an even number of jurors.
However, the only other time the penalty phase of a case was reached -- in New York in 1992, before capital punishment was reinstated -- resulted in a hung jury and the defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment.
He points out that 75 percent of Whitewater cases ended in hung juries compared to a 5 percent hung jury rate in criminal trials generally.
After one trial ended in a hung jury, Clair George was convicted on two felony counts of lying to Congress.
The first, with Thaw claiming to be innocent based on "the unwritten law" over White's violation of Nesbit, resulted in a hung jury.
Arizona judges will also have the option of limiting the length of a trial and avoiding a hung jury by polling deadlocked jurors to determine whether unanswered questions remain.