What is a Hung Jury?

A suspended jury is defined as a judicial jury that has not been able to agree on a verdict as requested by the court, even after prolonged deliberations. Sometimes referred to as an unpunished jury, a hanging jury occurs when an equal number of jurists pronounce themselves for a guilty and not guilty verdict that causes a stalemate. However, situations vary from country to country; in some, the accused is released if the majority required for a conviction is not reached in a single round of voting. Here’s how the juries work in some countries around the world.

Hung Juries Around the World

United States

In the United States, a case is dismissed as an error if a suspended jury situation occurs with the possibility that the case is brought to a new trial at a later time. In some states, the court allows the jury to sit down and pass over their opinions as a way of avoiding a hanging jury because most courts in the United States work on the principle that the jury’s verdict must be unanimous, or must reach a majority in civil cases.

New Zeland

On the first attempt, lawyers in New Zealand are required to reach a unanimous verdict, but if this does not happen then, the court may, after a period of time that does not last more than 4 hours of further deliberations, accept a majority verdict. When it comes to criminal cases, a verdict of “everything but one” is required for all that is necessary for a conviction, while in civil cases a majority of three quarters is all it takes to pass a guilty verdict. When the jury does not reach the majority or the unanimous verdict after a realistic period, the presiding judge will pronounce a suspended jury and a new group will be selected to execute a new trial


In the United Kingdom, a majority decision among the jurors brings the day in 10 / 2. If this majority is not reached, the case passes for a new trial. This, however, is achieved after the jury was given 2 hours to try to get most of 10/2. Scotland has a different way of doing things, and court cases usually have a jury of 15 people. who only need the majority of 8 to return a verdict.


When it comes to criminal cases in Canada, the jury is legally required to reach a unanimous decision and nothing less. If a unanimous decision is not reached, a jury is declared blocked, then a new trial is organized with a new jury of 12 people. When it comes to civil cases, six people are all that is necessary to form a jury, and a decision 5/1 brings the day when the dissident is ignored.

Importance of the jury

Having an extra pair of eyes or ears or hands is always a positive thing in all spheres of life. The jury acts as a counterweight to the powers of the court, keeps the prosecution under control and in the process ensures that the defendant gets a fair trial. The same role is extended to the judge, with a man who decides if someone is guilty or does not sit well with many people, and this where the jury arrives. A group of strangers who have never met before providing valuable insights and input into the long trial that is judgment in court.


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