What's the point of a judge if there's a jury?

Asked by: Fredy Simonis II  |  Last update: July 25, 2022
Score: 4.4/5 (42 votes)

In cases with a jury, the judge is responsible for insuring that the law is followed, and the jury determines the facts. In cases without a jury, the judge also is the finder of fact.

Is it better to be judged by a jury or judge?

Juries tend to be easier audiences than judges.

Jurors tend to be less concerned with technical details and more so with listening to a compelling story and making a decision based on who they believe should win under the circumstances. Meanwhile, judges analyze all the facts, evidence, and details of the case.

Do judges ever disagree with jury?

Judges are very reluctant to overturn a jury verdict. Jury verdicts are statements of the community. Therefore they are given great respect. Furthermore in a criminal case, a judge cannot overturn a verdict of not guilty as that would violate a defendant's 5th amendment right.

Can the judge overrule the jury?

No. Once a verdict has been rendered, either guilty or not guilty, the judge cannot overrule the jury. However, under California law, a defendant can make a motion for judgment of acquittal before the evidence is submitted to the jury.

Is a judge and a jury the same thing?

The judge determines the appropriate law that should be applied to the case and the jury finds the facts in the case based on what is presented to them during the proceedings.

Roles of Judge and Jury

29 related questions found

Why do juries exist?

The role of the jury is to provide unbiased views or resolution to evidence presented in a case in a court of law. Jury service helps to support fairness in trials; jury service is able to give impartial viewpoints on cases that are presented in court.

Why are judge only trials better?

Benefits of a judge-alone trial? A trial by judge alone can be beneficial in certain circumstances. When a judge delivers their verdict, they must give reasons for their decision. Being informed of the reasons why a judge decided on a guilty verdict makes the process more transparent.

Does the judge make the final decision?

Decides the verdict by deciding the facts. Decides on issues of law during a trial. Decides whether or not there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

Can a jury be biased?

When the jury member brings outside evidence that they may have found themselves into the trial which has not been allowed by the judges or lawyers and is used to create bias on the part of the juror. This new information may be used to influence their final decision.

What if jury is wrong?

Nullification is not an official part of criminal procedure, but is the logical consequence of two rules governing the systems in which it exists: Jurors cannot be punished for reaching a "wrong" decision (such as acquitting a defendant despite their guilt being proven beyond a reasonable doubt).

Can a judge overturn a guilty verdict?

Guilty and not guilty – It is rare for a judge to overturn either guilty or not-guilty verdict given by the jury. However, exceptions can always be there. In case of guilty verdict, a judge can overrule it only if there is no proper evidence establishing the guilt.

How do jurors reach a verdict of guilty or not guilty?

The jurors meet in a room outside the courtroom to decide whether the prosecutor has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. All the jurors must agree on the decision or verdict – their decision must be unanimous.

What happens if only one juror disagrees?


If even one member of the jury panel disagrees with the rest, the jury is hung. A “hung jury” results in either: a mistrial (which means the case may be retried with a new jury), a plea bargain to a reduced charge that carries a lesser sentence, or.

Why are judges better than juries?

Judges have legal training and experience and are able to analyse evidence, know what to give priority to and assess the credibility of witnesses. Although jurors in jury trials are advised to leave their prejudices out of the trial, it is difficult to know whether or not they have done this.

Is it better to have a jury trial or a judge alone trial?

Statistics show defendants are more likely to be found not guilty by a judge than a jury. The Bureau of Crime Statistics examined NSW trials between 1993 and 2011 and found defendants were acquitted 55.4 per cent of the time in a judge alone trial, compared to 29 per cent in a jury trial.

Does a judge decide guilt?

Guilty means the defendant admits he or she committed the crime. The judge finds the defendant guilty and enters a conviction in the court record. No Contest means the defendant does not contest (disagree with) the charge.

Can the jury be bribed?

Penal Code 92 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to bribe a judge, juror, or any person authorized to hear and determine a legal matter. A violation of this law is a felony offense punishable by up to 4 years in jail or state prison.

Can the jury talk to each other?

During jury deliberations, you are allowed to discuss the case with each other for the first time, but you must do so only when all jurors are present in the deliberation room. You and the other jurors must review the evidence and make decisions as a group.

What are examples of juror misconduct?

Examples of Juror Misconduct

Talking about the case with third parties, including family, friends, the media or even other jurors outside of official deliberations. Refusal to be a participant in the jury deliberations by failure to contribute to discussions or provide his or her views of the evidence.

Can judges do whatever they want?

Because judges have no accountability, they can do whatever they please. Judges are the only public officials with no accountability, and they want to keep it that way. The fact that we allow judges to indulge their whims is our collective shame.

How do judges decide who is telling the truth?

The judge wil often look to other evidence and witnesses to decide which party is telling the truth. If you have a case that involves domestic violence, having evidence to present that corroborates your version of the events can be especially important.

Can a judge make any decision they want?

This question comes up all the time. The short answer is that the judge makes a decision in your case whenever he or she makes a decision in your case. Attorneys don't have the authority to push judges to make decisions in cases.

Why might someone choose not to have a jury trial?

In many cases, especially when the crime is publicly scorned (i.e. DUI, domestic violence, animal cruelty, sex offenses) yet a bona-fide defense exists, one should consider waiving a jury trial. The case is then tried to only the judge.

How much do jurors get paid?

Petit Jury

Federal jurors are paid $50 a day. While the majority of jury trials last less than a week, jurors can receive up to $60 a day after serving 10 days on a trial.

What are the advantages of a jury?

These can include:
  • The chance to have a decision made by a number of people rather than one single person, which can reduce the likelihood of bias against you or your circumstances.
  • The opportunity to be tried by your peers, who may be more likely to relate to your personal situation than a judge or magistrate.