08 January 2009

How many Angry Men?

Though not a lawyer, I've always been interested in the law. I found this op-ed very interesting. It looks at the historical precedent for having a 12 person jury, and also the inadequacy of smaller panels in providing better legal outcomes.

I served on a jury for a felony court case in Florida. There were seven of us on the panel, 6 jurors and one alternate. We are among the states that do not require a higher number of jurors. Although the case we heard was fairly straightforward, I can see where a smaller group might fail to provide the robust discussion of a larger number.

Were I a defendant I would prefer twelve. It seems like the Founding Fathers felt that way also.

No comments: