Permissibility of 6-person juries, constitutional requirement of unanimity of verdict

  • Richardson v. United States, 526 U.S. 813, 821 (1999) (citing Johnson v. Louisiana, 406 U.S. 356, 366 (1972) (affirming a conviction by a 9-3 jury vote) (Powell, J., concurring) (noting that “in criminal cases due process of law is not denied by a state law which dispenses with . . . the necessity of a jury of twelve, or unanimity in the verdict”)).
  • Burch v. Louisiana, 441 U.S. 130 (1979) (disapproving non-unanimous verdict by five of six jurors)
  • Ballew v. Georgia, 435 U.S. 223 (1978) (disapproving unanimous five-person jury)
  • Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972) (approving convictions by 11-1 and 10-2 votes)
  • Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970) (approving six-person jury).

jury need not always decide unanimously which of several possible sets of underlying brute facts make up a particular element, say, which of several possible means the defendant used to commit an element of the crime

Richardson v. United States, 526 U.S. 813 (1999) (In Richardson, the Court held that, in a prosecution under 21 USC ยง 848 for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, the jury must unanimously agree not only that the defendant committed a “continuing series of violations,” but also must unanimously agree as to which specific “violations” make up that “continuing series.”).

conviction by a nonunanimous six-member jury in a state criminal trial for a nonpetty offense deprives an accused of his constitutional right to trial by jury

Burch v. Louisiana, 441 U.S. 130 (1979)

Surely one fact that is absolutely clear from this history is that, after a proposal had been made to specify precisely which of the common-law requisites of the jury were to be preserved by the Constitution, the Framers explicitly rejected the proposal and instead left such specification to the future.

Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404, 410 (1972).

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