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grand jury

a jury, at common law, of 12 to 23 persons, designated to inquire into alleged violations of the law in order to ascertain whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant trial.
Compare petty jury.
Origin of grand jury
1490-1500; < Anglo-French graund juree Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grand-jury
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For though the grand-jury is "the country," the judge is not only all that, and more so; but is "the rest of mankind" besides.

  • But I suppose the judge did not succeed in getting his brother-in-law put on the grand-jury, and so the scheme fell through.

  • The grand-jury had found several bills, and most of them for the more aggravated offences in the estimation of the law.

    Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia William Gilmore Simms
  • Boston had the right men to do any thing for the crown, but they did not contrive to get upon the grand-jury.

  • But, Gentlemen, it does not appear that he had his brother-in-law on that grand-jury.

  • In all the judicial tyranny I have related, we have not found a case before in which the judge had his brother on the grand-jury.

  • Chief Justice Eyre, in addressing the grand-jury, referred to the act of Parliament as proof of a conspiracy.

  • The opinion of Justice Jones was only the charge of an inferior judge given to the grand-jury in 1634.

  • Nothing further requiring the attendance of the grand-jury, the court dismissed them and broke up.

British Dictionary definitions for grand-jury

grand jury

(law) (esp in the US and, now rarely, in Canada) a jury of between 12 and 23 persons summoned to inquire into accusations of crime and ascertain whether the evidence is adequate to found an indictment. Abolished in Britain in 1948 Compare petit jury
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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grand-jury in Culture

grand jury definition

A jury that decides whether the evidence warrants bringing an accused person to trial. Once indicted (see indictment) by a grand jury, a person must stand trial.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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