In some criminal cases, a jury is called to hear a trial. The jury is generally made up of 12 jurors, selected at random from the list of electors.
Role of the jury
The role of the jury is to decide, with respect to the crime with which the accused is charged by the state, whether the accused is guilty, not guilty, or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. The jury must reach a consensus position. For this purpose, each juror bases his or her decision on:
- the testimony heard at the trial;
- the evidence examined;
- the facts set out during the trial;
- the explanations given by the judge.
At the end of the trial, the jurors give their verdict.
The "verdict" is the decision made by the jurors. It must be unanimous. If the jurors cannot agree on a decision, they review the facts and evidence presented during the trial in order to reach a unanimous verdict. If they still fail to agree, and if the court considers that they will be unable to agree, the judge will make an appropriate order, leading in some cases to a mistrial.