Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The answer made by a prisoner, when arraigned, in answer to the question, "How wlll you be tried?" In the ancient practice he had the choice (as appears by. the question) whether to submit to the trial by ordeal (by God) or to be tried by a jury, (by the country;) and it is probable that the original form of the answer was, "By God or my country," whereby the prisoner averred his innocence by declining neither of the modes of trial.