Trial by a Jury of One's Peers Law & Legal Definition


Trial by a jury of one's peers refers to a trial upon competent legal testimony. A fair and impartial trial by a jury of one's peers is a sacred right guaranteed to every citizen under the laws. A citizen's right to a trial by a jury of one's peers in a criminal prosecution is guaranteed by the sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The right is extended to the states by the fourteenth amendment.

”In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law.” [USCS Const. Amend. 6].

Following is an example of state constitution guaranteeing trial by a jury of one's peers. In criminal prosecutions a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his/her accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, and to call for evidence in his favor, and s/he must enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of his/her vicinage, without whose unanimous consent s/he cannot be found guilty. S/he shall not be deprived of life or liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers, nor be compelled in any criminal proceeding to give evidence against himself, nor be put twice in jeopardy for the same offense. [Va. Const. Art. I, § 8].