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|Criminal trials and convictions|
|Rights of the accused|
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In a jury trial, a directed verdict is an order from the presiding judge to the jury to return a particular verdict. Typically, the judge orders a directed verdict after finding that no reasonable jury could reach a decision to the contrary. After a directed verdict, there is no longer any need for the jury to decide the case.
A judge may order a directed verdict as to an entire case or only to certain issues.
In a criminal case in the United States, once the prosecution has closed its case, the defendant may move for a directed verdict. If granted, the verdict will be "not guilty". The prosecution may never seek a directed verdict of guilty, as the defendant has a constitutional right to present a defense and rebut the prosecution's case and have a jury determine guilt or innocence (where a defendant has waived his/her right to a jury trial and allowed the judge to render the verdict, this still applies).
This concept has largely been replaced in the American legal system with judgment as a matter of law.
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