Group chosen from the citizens of a district to try a question of fact at issue in a trial. Though petit juries in England and the U.S. historically have contained 12 members, there is no uniform number. Numerical requirements for a valid verdict vary (e.g., unanimity in most courts in the U.S., a majority in Scotland and Italy, two-thirds in Portugal). The petit jury is the standard jury for civil and criminal trials. It has less discretion than is often imagined. The trial judge supervises it, rules on what evidence it may view and which laws are applicable, and sometimes directs or, at the end of the trial, sets aside its verdict. See also grand jury.
Variants of PETIT JURY
petit jury or trial jury
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