In medieval times, an accused person could establish his legal innocence by swearing an oath and having a required number of persons swear that they believed him. This legal defense was called compurgation (from Latin, literally meaning ‘to thoroughly clean or excuse.’) And how many persons were typically required to substantiate the defendant’s oath? You guessed it, twelve, and that number was retained when compurgation gave way to trial by jury.
Why Are There 12 On A Jury? January 24, 2014