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Trial Archives

What is a Hung Jury in a Criminal Trial?

In Pennsylvania, a jury in a criminal trial consists of 12 citizens drawn from the county where the charges are filed, unless it is a high profile case, in which case the jurors may be brought in from another county. These 12 jurors must reach a unanimous decision when deciding whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty of a particular offense. If the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, and is "hopelessly deadlocked," then the jury is said to be "hung." At that point, the Court of Common Pleas judge declares a mistrial.