Hung Jury Meaning In Law: Everything You Need To Know

Any person facing legal charges against him must understand the Hung Jury Meaning In Law in law and its indications. Hung jury generally occurs in an enigmatic situation when the jury colleagues cannot decide whether or not the accused party is guilty. It generally arises when the jurors in a criminal trial can not agree.

This article will be about understanding the concept of a hung jury in law and everything you need to know if you are facing criminal charges.

Hung Jury Meaning In Law

Hung jury, also known as a deadlocked jury, is a jury that cannot agree upon a judgment after extended considerations and cannot reach the needed agreement. This condition typically occurs in everyday law because civil law systems do not use juries.

Hung Jury Meaning In Law

Hung’s jury can occur in two kinds of trials: criminal trials and civil trials. The jurors make a unanimous decision on a crime or innocence; on the other hand, the hung jury does not make a unanimous decision.

The following things can happen if a jury is hung in a legal case. First of all, the judge may organize a hearing where the hung jurors are allowed to ask questions from both parties. Secondly, the judge may ask the hung jurors to consider the case further.

Lastly, the judge may proclaim the case as a mistrial. The conduction can ask for a new trial or retrial if the judge does not proclaim the retrial due to the hung jury. But it is not under no obligation to do so.

Hung Jury In A Criminal Trial

In a criminal trial, the jury consists of 12 citizens from the country, but the jurors are selected from other countries if it is a high-profile case. These jurors make a unanimous decision, but they must agree whether the party is guilty of the offense or not. If the jury cannot make a unanimous decision, it is said to be hung and is deadlocked.

Hung Jury: Why Essential?

Many circumstances lead to a hung jury. Following are some significant circumstances for which a hung jury is considered essential.

  • Lack Of Agreement
  • Different Views In The Assessment Of Credibility Of Witness
  • Resistance To Pressure
  • Complex Cases With Intricate Legal Issues
  • Less Evidence


Lack Of Agreement

In many cases, when the evidence is presented in a trial, the jurors have different explanations of the evidence. As a result, some pieces of evidence are considered more compelling, which causes a disagreement between the jurors and leads to a hung jury.

Different Views In The Assessment Of Credibility Of Witness

There are different jurors’ views in assessing the credibility of witnesses. For example, a jury finds one witness acceptable, and another juror may not find it credible, so this also causes a disagreement, leading to a deadlocked jury.

Resistance To Pressure

Sometimes, a juror is forced to change their decision to make a unanimous decision. If he resists such pressure, it also leads to a hung jury, as the hung jury does not make a unanimous decision.

Most of the time, jurors struggle to reach an agreement when complex cases have intricate legal issues. This leads to misinterpretation, which causes an importance to the hung jury.

Less Evidence

When there is less evidence for the unanimous decision, it leads to a hung jury. If the jurors believe that the conduction has not met the sufficient burden of evidence, this results in a deadlock.

After A Hung Jury: Common Outcomes

After a hung jury, there are several options.
  • The first possible outcome after the hung jury is a retrial of the case that the prosecution generally decides.
  • The second possible outcome after a hung jury is that the prosecution may dismiss all charges.
  • The last possible outcome after the hung jury is that the jury may further consider the case to reach a unanimous decision.

Some Incredible Advantages Of Hung Jury

  • Hung Jury generally suggests that there are some doubts about the guilt of is an incredible advantage of the hung jury, which can augur well for the protection in retrial.
  • Due to a hung jury, the prosecution gets a chance to clarify its argument before a retrial.
  • Hung jury leads to more possible outcomes by making a negotiation between the defense and the prosecution.
  • Hung jury for an offender means they avoid the instant conviction as they have not conceived the jurors. 

Some Disadvantages Of Hung Jury

  • Hung jury can prove to be frustrated because it causes a delay in the closure. Moreover, it also lengthens the legal processes.
  • For both prosecution and defense, the hung jury can prove unbeneficial as they can not manage the costs of retrails.
  • Hung jury leads to another possible trial no matter how many favorable plea bargains it offers.
  • It results in prolonging the period of stress and anxiety during the process of trial.
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