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Monday, 12 October 2015


The modern jury trial first developed in mid-12th century England during the reign of Henry II.

America's first all-female jury acquitted servant-girl Judith Catchpole of witchcraft and infanticide in 1656. It was decided that an all-female jury was needed because the issues of pregnancy and birth required female expertise.

The Jury, an 1861 painting of a British jury by John Morgan

The first British women were summoned for jury duty in London in January 1921, and Mrs. Taylor Bumpstead acted as the first female foreman.

Unanimous verdicts were required in Great Britain until the Criminal Justice Act 1967. The first majority verdict was reached by a British jury on October 5, 1967. They found a wrestler who occasionally went by the name ‘the Terrible Turk’ guilty of stealing a handbag.

On November 4, 1986, 12 members of a Florida jury got stuck in the courthouse elevator for 20 minutes. The jurors were hearing a case against the Otis elevator company.

In the United States, juries are made up of 12 regular people from the area in which the trial is held and are not members of the court system. They are paid a small amount for their service.

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