Difference Between Grand Jury and Petit Jury

Difference Between Grand Jury and Petit Jury

Aside from the official’s judgment, a group of people also plays an important role in the determination of the legitimacy of different types of illegal acts. The decision of the case will be determined by whether the defendant is found ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty.’ Furthermore, there are several sorts of trials that, undoubtedly, have distinct types of jurors as well, such as the Grand Jury and the Petit Jury, for example.

Petit Jury Vs. Grand Jury

The difference between a Grand Jury and a Petit Jury is that a Grand Jury utilizes trials that are based on evidence supplied by the government’s lawyers, while a Petit Jury uses trials that are based on the evidence presented by the plaintiff and defendant.

A grand jury is a form of a jury that may be found in the courts of the United States. The evidence presented by the US attorney as well as the prosecutors in federal criminal proceedings in the United States is taken into consideration by the Grand Jury in reaching a decision on guilt or innocence. In most cases, a grand jury is comprised of sixteen to twenty-three persons. It is customary for the grand jury’s proceedings to be closed to the public, which includes the defendants and their legal counsel.

Instead, a Petit Jury is a form of a trial jury that evaluates whether the defendant has committed a crime against the plaintiff or damaged the plaintiff in any manner in a civil lawsuit. It will consist of between six to twelve persons during the experiment. Furthermore, the defendants, accompanied by their counsel, may appear before the jury to provide testimony.

What is the purpose of a Grand Jury?

The Grand Jury’s true job begins when it determines whether or not criminal charges should be brought against a person. It is a group of sixteen to twenty-three jurors who are empowered to carry out legal operations, such as conducting legal hearings, investigating probable criminal activity, and other tasks as assigned by the court.

In reality, grand juries in the United States consist of around 6 to 12 jurors, while juries in the federal system consist of between 16 to 23 jurors. A regular and informal courtroom is used in lieu of a Grand Jury, with no members of the public, no defendants, and no lawyers present save for the prosecutor, who explains the law to the courtroom’s audience. They scramble about gathering evidence and witnesses for the case, combining the efforts of the Grand Jury and the prosecutors.

A grand jury is convened in order to hear evidence that has been submitted by the United States Attorney and the prosecutors in criminal cases before it. Not only is it their responsibility to assess whether a person is guilty or not, but they also have the authority to file criminal charges or an indictment against a possible defendant. Furthermore, the last decision is the ‘probable cause,’ which states whether or not it is reasonable to suspect that the person has committed a crime and should be placed on trial.

What exactly is a Petit Jury?

When it comes to the later phase, the petit jury is also referred to as the trial jury since they are responsible for listening to the evidence presented by both the plaintiff and the defendant during a trial. The petit jury is often comprised of six to twelve individuals, who are responsible for deciding the decision under the supervision of the court judge.

Following the collecting of evidence from both sides, the petit jury follows the judge’s instructions and retires for discussion in order to assess the outcome of their deliberations. While the trial is normally held in public view, the deliberations are usually held in secret. While in civil instances, their judgment typically determines whether the defendant or plaintiff is to be found liable; in criminal cases, their decision determines whether the defendant or plaintiff is to be found guilty or not guilty.

In addition, they look after the plaintiff’s well-being in a civil action, such as protecting him or her from the defendant’s approach. Meanwhile, the defendants are requested to attend, witness, or testify in front of the jury in order to reach a conclusive judgment.

Difference Between Grand Jury and Petit Jury

  • Grand Jury proceedings are overseen by the prosecutor and a panel of judges who assess whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty based on evidence given by the prosecution. Petit Jury, on the other hand, is performed in an open setting where all parties—the defendant and the plaintiff—are present. In order to put deliberation to a close, the Petit Jury follows the instructions of the Judge.
  • In Henry II, the Grand Jury is established; in Henry III, the Petit Jury is first mentioned in a piece of legislation.
  • According to the Federal system, a grand jury should consist of 16 to 23 jurors, but in practice, it should consist of 6 to 12 jurors. Petit Jury, on the other hand, must be composed of 6 to 12 people, regardless of whether the system is federal or state.
  • At the Grand Jury, only the prosecutor is present, and the matter is discussed with the judges and the other members of the jury. However, in the Petit Jury-public, with both the Defendant and Plaintiff present, where Prosecutors enquire about the case’s facts and deliver the decision in accordance with the Judge’s instructions.
  • Grand Jury proceedings are held in order to determine who is accountable on the basis of legal or government evidence, without taking into consideration any arguments from either party. Nevertheless, during the Petit Jury deliberations, the decision is supported by a discussion of the issues raised by both sides.


A Grand Jury and a Petit Jury are two forms of Judgement that are used to find the individual who is guilty of any criminal accusations. It is the prosecutor and the judge who presided over the Grand Jury, and their decisions are based on the evidence given by the government or the law. Generally speaking, a Grand Jury is comprised of 6 to 12 Jurors, although according to the federal system, jurors ranging from 16 to 23 are presented.

Furthermore, a Grand Jury is convened in the absence of the general public, defendants, or plaintiffs, and only the prosecutor and the judge are involved in the decision-making process.

Petit Jury is a kind of judgment in which the outcome is heavily influenced by the evidence presented by the parties (defendant and plaintiff). Petit Jury members range from 6 to 12 in number in both the federal and general systems. Furthermore, Petit Jury presentations are made in front of the public, and the Prosecutor is responsible for following up on the Judge’s decision in the case.