Verdict


It is the formal decision issued by a jury on the questions of fact that were presented at trial. The unanimous decision made by a jury and reported to the court on matters lawfully submitted to them in the course of the trial of a cause.

Verdicts are of various types, namely private and public, general, partial and special.

A secret verdict is one secretly delivered to a judge outside of court. Such a verdict is delivered to the judge after the jury has agreed, for the jury’s convenience, that after it has been rendered.

A public verdict is issued in public hearing. This verdict has its full effect, and unless it is set aside it is conclusive on the facts and when sentence is pronounced on it. A private verdict must then be given publicly to give it any effect.

An overall verdict is one whereby the jury finds both the fact and the law at the same time, either in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant. The jury can find such a verdict when it sees fit.

A partial verdict in a criminal case is one whereby the jury acquits the defendant of a part of the charge against him and finds him guilty of the remainder: the following are examples of this type of verdict, namely: when the defendant is acquitted of one charge and find him guilty on another, which is in fact a kind of blanket verdict; when the accusation is of a higher degree offense, and includes a lower degree, the jury may convict the less heinous by finding a partial verdict. Thus, in a burglary charge, the defendant may be found guilty of burglary and acquitted of nighttime trespassing; On a murder charge, he can be convicted of manslaughter; robbery can be softened to simple theft; a battery, in a common assault.