Jury Trial Law and Legal Definition

A jury trial is otherwise called a trial by jury. A jury is a group of law abiding members of a community who have been assigned to pronounce an impartial decision on a legal issue. The jury may either arrive at a decision or make findings of fact which are then applied by a judge. It is thus different from a bench trial where a judge or panel of judges makes all decisions.

The right to a jury trial is recognized as a fundamental civil right by the United States constitution. The defendant may waive his right to jury trial and opt for a bench trial. Trial by jury is a constitutional right under Article Three of the US Constitution. Every person accused of a felony has a right to trial by jury. The jury trial is conducted in the State and district where the crime was committed. The US Constitution also recognizes a trial by jury for non criminal actions where the value in dispute is above twenty dollars.

The U.S. juries consist of 12 jurors and they should give a unanimous verdict. The jurors may be selected through the voter's list or driving license lists. A form is sent to the selected members asking them to complete the form regarding their eligibility to become a juror. Once the selected members are considered qualified, a summons is issued to them to be a member of the jury.