What is a Hung Jury?

When a jury cannot gather enough votes for a verdict this is called a hung jury.  In criminal cases in Ohio, juries have to be unanimous either to convict or for acquittals.  If after a period of deliberation a jury cannot come to a unanimous decision with regard to the charges, they may ask some questions of the court to help them come to a decision.  The judge may or may not be able to answer those questions. 


The judge may also bring the jury into the courtroom and give them a set of instructions to encourage them to reach a unanimous verdict.  This is called an Allen charge.  If the jury is still unable to reach a decision the judge may declare a mistrial.  Later on, the State will decide whether or not they will re-try the case.  The more serious the charges the more likely the State will re-try the case. 

Categories: General
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