What’s A Verdict? Verdict Definition

by Editor

The verdict is the findings of a jury regarding the relevant factual issues. The phrase can also refer to the judge’s decision-making during a bench trial. A verdict is a name for a jury’s judgment.

Word origin: from Medieval Latin vērdictum, from Latin vērē dictum uttered, from vērus true + dīcere to say it.

You can get in touch with the person who invited you to court if you are a victim or witness in the case and you left before the trial was over but still want to know how things turned out.

 In a trial, the jury is tasked with hearing the testimony from both sides, establishing the case’s facts, analyzing the law’s application to those facts, and rendering a verdict. There are several verdicts, and depending on whether the jury is deliberating a criminal or civil matter, other votes are needed to reach a verdict.

 Although the trial judge often upholds judgments, the judge can reverse a decision in specific situations, The judge’s conduct upholds most verdicts at the trial, and the judge has the violation to set aside a judgment in certain circumstances.

 Verdict Example

 The O.J. Simpson trial verdict is arguably one of the most well-known ones. Simpson was accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend in this legal matter. In a state court, his attorneys referred to as the defense, argued against the state of California, referred to as the prosecution. When Simpson was on trial, the prosecution submitted facts about the case to the jury to show that he committed the crimes for which he was accused, and the defense provided evidence to show that he didn’t. The jury returned a not-guilty decision after deliberating through the arguments made by both sides.


 There is usually a defense, a prosecution, a jury, and a judge in criminal trials like this one. The prosecution, also known as the prosecutor, is the party pursuing the charges, and the defense, sometimes known as the defendant, is the one accused of the crime. After hearing the defense and prosecution in a courtroom, a jury of peers is chosen to provide a decision. The person who presides over a case in court is the judge. If the jury finds the defendant guilty in a criminal trial, the judge will punish him accordingly. Presiding Jurors in a Case

For both criminal and civil cases, it is the jury trial that determines whether or not the defendant committed the alleged offense and whether or not the plaintiff was actually harmed.

Verdict Types

 General verdict

The most typical type of judgment is a general verdict. It is a thorough resolution of the problem. In civil proceedings, the jury renders a verdict in favor of the plaintiff or defendant, establishing liability and quantifying the extent of financial losses.

 The jury renders a decision of “guilty” or “not guilty” in criminal cases based on the charge or charges brought against the defendant. The verdict in cases involving serious crimes must be unanimous. However, some governments provide either a majority vote or a vote of 10 to 2 in minor criminal cases. Many states no longer require unanimity in civil trials and now permit votes of 10 to 2.

 Special verdict

When parties in a civil dispute want more say in the outcome, but there are highly specialized factual issues, they may request a special judgment. The judge will hand the jurors a list of factual questions to answer in writing.

 The judge will decide based on the jury’s findings or replies. As a result of the common inability of the parties to agree on the precise questions, special rulings are rarely used.

 It is against the law in the United States for judges to hand down random verdicts. The outcome of a “chance verdict” has been decided by random means, such as the toss of a coin or the casting of lots, rather than via careful consideration.

 It used to be okay to have such a judgment, but today it’s against the law. This case calls for a particular verdict, in which the judges are given the relevant law and evidence. Legal authorities cited include Lit. Sel. Cas. 376; Breese, 176; 4 Rand. 504; 1 Hen. & Munf. 235; 1 Wash. C. C. 499; 2 Mason, 31.

 Instead of returning a simple yes or no judgment on the issue at hand, the jury may instead decide that “they are ignorant, in point of law, on which side they ought to look upon those facts to find the issue; that if upon the whole matter the court shall think that the issue is proved for the plaintiff, they find for the plaintiff” (if the court thinks the issue is proved for the plaintiff).

 It is a term for this type of decision. In actuality, they play zero roles in the judicial process leading up to the special verdict.

Compromise verdict

To avoid a deadlock, some jurors will vote against their actual convictions to get a compromise decision. A compromise judgment is a matter submitted to address questions of guilt, blame, and just compensation. A jury judgment must be unanimous to be actionable in all federal proceedings and the vast majority of state cases. A case would typically end in a mistrial if a jury cannot agree on a verdict, a situation known as a hung jury.

A deal to meet in the middle of a reciprocal exchange characterizes a compromise decision. In the former, one group of jurors can consent to decide in favor of finding the defendant responsible in business for the other group’s consent to lowball the number of monetary damages.

Partial verdict

 A partial verdict in a criminal case occurs when the jury acquits the defendant of some of the charges against him while finding him responsible for the remainder:

 Examples of this type of judgment include the following: when they acquit the defendant on one count while convicting him on another, which is a type of general judgment since he is typically acquitted on one charge and convicted on another; when the charge is for an offense of a higher degree and also includes one of a lesser degree, the jury may convict of the less heinous by reaching a partial verdict.

 As a result, the defendant in a burglary case could be found guilty of theft but cleared of the charge of breaking; in a murder case, he could be found guilty of manslaughter; in a robbery case, the cost could be reduced to simple theft; and in a battery case, the charge could be reduced to common assault.

 Pristine and Public Decisions

 Verdicts may be secret or made public. A jury’s decision is presented to the judge outside of the courtroom for delivery to the court at its subsequent meeting. This is known as a privy verdict. The verdict is invalid if the judge does not pronounce it. This form of judgment is vulnerable to abuse and is hardly ever employed.

 A jury may deliver a sealed verdict to the judge in open court at any time during the trial. This is known as a public verdict. This kind of decision is rendered frequently.

 Sealed Verdict

 When there is a delay in revealing the outcome, such as while waiting for the judge, the parties, and the counsel to return to court, the judgment is placed in a sealed envelope. When the court meets again, the sealed envelope with the judgment is opened, and the judge is given the contents.  In many American jurisdictions, this procedure is essentially the norm; otherwise, it can be the judge’s inclination.

Directed verdict

A trial judge’s decision to direct a jury’s judgment is made after concluding that insufficient legal evidence allows a fair jury to reach a different verdict. Either party may move for a directed verdict, or the trial court may do so of its own volition.

The verdict is the jury’s conclusion or judgment about the case’s factual issues. It is the jury’s official ruling on the real issues raised throughout the trial. In other words, a jury’s unanimous judgment on all problems is legitimately presented to them during a case’s trial and reported to the court. The jury’s historical role has been to moderate legal principles by applying common sense to the facts of a particular case. Due to this, even in civil matters, Justices Black and Douglas expressed their dislike of exceptional verdicts.

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