hung jury

Primary tabs

A hung jury is a jury that  is unable to reach a verdict by the required voting margin. A hung jury will often lead to a retrial of the case.  In some cases, the judge may instruct the jury to continue their deliberation, but this is not a common practice.

A hung jury can also have an impact on the parties involved in the trial. For the defendant, a hung jury may mean that they have not been found guilty, but it also means that the case could be retried, leading to additional stress and cost. For the prosecution, a hung jury means that they have failed to secure a conviction, which can be a blow to their case and reputation.

When a hung jury occurs, it is up to the prosecution to decide if they want to retry the case or drop the charges. It's important to note that double jeopardy, the principle that prohibits trying a person twice for the same crime, does not apply in cases where a mistrial is declared due to a hung jury.

[Last updated in January of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]