verdict


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

verdict,

in law, official decision of a juryjury,
body convened to make decisions of fact in legal proceedings. Development of the Modern Jury

Historians do not agree on the origin of the English jury.
..... Click the link for more information.
 respecting questions of fact that the judge has laid before it. In the United States, verdicts must be unanimous in federal courts, but majority verdicts are constitutionally permissible in state courts. The jury may be instructed to render a general verdict, a special verdict, or both. A general verdict requires the jury to decide whether the defendant is guilty (or liable, in civil cases). The jury's decision is theoretically based on whether it was convinced of the occurrence of all the facts necessary to substantiate a given violation of the criminal or civil law. A special verdict answers a specific question, e.g., did a deceased person die naturally or by violence? If the jury is required only to return a special verdict, the judge must himself decide whether the law was violated. In civil suits the judge may often modify or set aside verdicts. In criminal cases, however, a verdict of not guilty generally cannot be modified, and the accused must be discharged; the judge may in certain circumstances disregard a verdict of guilty. See jeopardyjeopardy,
in law, condition of a person charged with a crime and thus in danger of punishment. At common law a defendant could be exposed to jeopardy for the same offense only once; exposing a person twice is known as double jeopardy.
..... Click the link for more information.
; sentencesentence,
in criminal law, punishment that a court orders, imposed on a person convicted of criminal activity. Sentences typically consist of fines, corporal punishment, imprisonment for varying periods including life, or capital punishment, and sometimes combine two or more
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Verdict

 

a decision (sentence) of the members of a jury on the question of the guilt or innocence of an accused person, the verdict being guilty or not guilty. Under the laws and judicial procedure of various countries, verdicts may be spoken or written and may take the form of answers to questions asked by the court or of agreement with or rejection of the indictment. In the judicial practice of the USA a distinction is made between a general verdict on the question of guilt and a special verdict when the courts have to draw their conclusions from certain specific facts. The courts decide on the penalty to be imposed on the basis of the verdict reached. The verdict is reached by the jury unanimously or by a majority vote. In Great Britain, for example, a unanimous verdict of the jury has not been required since 1967, and the same is true of a number of states of the United States.

Despite the outwardly democratic procedure used in reaching a verdict, that procedure, like the other institutions pertaining to a jury trial in bourgeois states, does not ensure genuine independence of the jury from the position taken by the judges. “The judge makes it adequately clear to the jury what their verdict should be, and the jurors dutifully and regularly reach that verdict” (F. Engels, in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 1, p. 636). This situation is made possible not only by the appropriate selection of the members of the jury but also by the procedure for reaching the verdict. In particular, in the United States and Great Britain the presiding officer of the court (a professional judge) delivers orally or reads out a final statement to the jurors, in which he not only gives them the essential legal clarifications they may need and sums up the position of the parties but also expresses his judgment on the acceptability and significance of the various items of evidence, of the reason for the refusal of the accused to testify, and so on. The jurors are also influenced by the position of the presiding judge, insofar as his wide powers enable him to give his active support to one of the parties. The presiding judge may call the jurors out of the deliberation room to give them additional explanations; he may nullify their verdict because of inherent contradictions or, conversely, may refuse to recognize the existence of these contradictions. He may arrange for a new consultation of the jurors to remove what he may regard as errors in the application of the law, and so on. In countries where unanimity on the verdict is required and it is not achieved by the jury, the court may direct the jury to deliberate further or he may appoint a fresh panel of jurors to begin a new examination of the case.

G. M. MIN’KOVSKII

verdict

the findings of a jury on the issues of fact submitted to it for examination and trial; judgment
References in classic literature ?
Wopsle heavily; "that same man might be summoned as a juryman upon this very trial, and, having thus deeply committed himself, might return to the bosom of his family and lay his head upon his pillow, after deliberately swearing that he would well and truly try the issue joined between Our Sovereign Lord the King and the prisoner at the bar, and would a true verdict give according to the evidence, so help him God
In this society gossip is often turned into solemn verdicts.
When the doctor had been summoned, the verdict was that the patient would die with the morning.
It behooves you, fellow-countrymen, to consider in what aspect we shall stand before the world, and what will be the verdict of impartial history, should we suffer these accumulated outrages to go unavenged.
Yet he seemed contented to preserve an entirely independent attitude, and to trust to the verdict of the future.
Edwards,” said Lippet, dropping all reserve from his manner, “you are called a curious man; but if you can tell me how a jury is to be prevented from finding a verdict of guilty, if this case comes fairly before them, and the proof is clear, I shall acknowledge that you know more law than I do, who have had a license in my pocket for three years.
When the verdict was called for, the Jury declined, As the word was so puzzling to spell; But they ventured to hope that the Snark wouldn't mind Undertaking that duty as well.
I should be ashamed to make a pretty woman wait for my verdict.
Goodfellow's sensitive conscientiousness forbade him to withhold from the court) was considered so unbroken and so thoroughly conclusive, that the jury, without leaving their seats, returned an immediate verdict of "Guilty of murder in the first degree.
Under these circumstances the young man was instantly arrested, and a verdict of 'wilful murder' having been returned at the inquest on Tuesday, he was on Wednesday brought before the magistrates at Ross, who have referred the case to the next Assizes.
Evidence will be given before you as to the circumstances attending that death, and you will give your verdict according to the--skittles; they must be stopped, you know, beadle
cried one, springing to his feet, and in an instant the entire thirty-one judges were on their feet with upraised swords in token of the unanimity of their verdict.