jury of one's peers


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

jury of one's peers

n. a guaranteed right of criminal defendants, in which "peer" means an "equal." This has been interpreted by courts to mean that the available jurors include a broad spectrum of the population, particularly of race, national origin and gender. Jury selection may include no process which excludes those of a particular race or intentionally narrows the spectrum of possible jurors. It does not mean that women are to be tried by women, Asians by Asians, or African Americans by African Americans. (See: jury)

References in periodicals archive ?
(1) Jury selection rules are designed to facilitate the impartial application of relevant law through the fact-finding function of a jury of one's peers. Until recently, courts have not addressed the potential conflict between jury selection rules and the possibility that a jury would be called upon to impose the federal death penalty even in states without the death penalty.
Our country has a long tradition of citizen involvement, and we hold as one of our highest ideals the principle that one should be judged by a jury of one's peers. The idea that ordinary citizens are unable to fairly judge police actions has no place in a democracy and a country that lives by the rule of law.
At the root is the right to counsel and a fair trial by a jury of one's peers, the presumption of innocence, the high standard and onerous burden of proof borne by the prosecution.
Arguably the most famous document in existence, the Magna Carta - which is Latin for Great Charter - states that no man is above the law and enshrines the right against unlawful imprisonment, the right to a speedy trial and the right to a trial by a jury of one's peers.