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Thursday 23rd October 2014
Max 15°C | Min 14°C

Why are there 12 people on a jury?

Question

Why are there 12 people on a jury? Surely if you wanted a majority verdict, an odd number would make more sense.
Chris, Fleetwood

Answer

Name: James, Bexley Heath
Qualification: History buff
Answer: The jury system began in 1189 in the first year in the reign of Henry II. Before that, they didn’t have juries, but if you could find 12 people to support your case, you’d be released. Since then, it evolved from the 12 being witnesses to 12 deciding on the facts.
(James O’Brien: But why 12? You haven’t explained where that tradition came from.)

Name: Mike, Finsbury Park
Qualification: Astrologer
Answer: It comes from 12 signs of the zodiac, as if you take one person from each sign, you get a complete view of an event. It’s also why they had 12 apostles.
(James O’Brien: Hmmm…)

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