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View Full Version : 6 Jurors versus 12 Jurors ... who will this benefit?


one_hooah_wife
04-01-2009, 02:56 PM
There will only be 6 jurors seated for this case, as it stands, to this date:

Florida Statute 913.10 Number of jurors.--Twelve persons shall constitute a jury to try all capital cases, and six persons shall constitute a jury to try all other criminal cases.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...913/ch0913.htm (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0913/ch0913.htm)

Florida typically seats only 6 jurors in a criminal case ... unless the death penalty is "on the table."

Who will, if anyone, this benefit?

Facts:

The US Supreme Court decision in WILLIAMS v. FLORIDA, 399 U.S. 78 (http://vlex.com/vid/20079393) (1970) 399 U.S. 78, decided that a jury of 6 or more did not violate the defendants 6th Amendment right to a fair trial.

To have a hung jury, only one juror would have to hold out. That is 1:6 odds versus (if the state had opted for the DP) a 1:12 odds, for KC to have a hung jury. It only takes one!!

Who does this benefit in your opinion?

ks1
04-01-2009, 03:08 PM
It appears to me that it will benefit the prosecution by only having to convice 6jurors of guilt, rather than 12. The odds of getting one wacko, KC loving jury member are reduced by half!

one_hooah_wife
04-01-2009, 03:31 PM
Some could look at it as fewer jurors seated ... fewer jurors to convince ... on either side!

dax
04-01-2009, 03:31 PM
We've talked about this on other threads when reference was made to "12 people."

All trials (except dp) in Florida use only 6 jurors so the SA and defense attorney are used to this. In fact, I would say that the majority of SA's and Defense A's here in Florida have never tried a case with 12 jurors.

On one side you can say that there are less people to convince of guilt and on the other side you can say there are less people to influence someone who has doubt. Personally, I don't think either side benefits one way or the other.

frenchvixen
04-01-2009, 03:31 PM
This really made my day. Instead of having 12, she will have 6.. this may be the reason why the took the DP off the table. The cards are stacked in the favor of the prosecution b/c it's 6 less folks to worry about.

marla
04-01-2009, 03:35 PM
It appears to me that it will benefit the prosecution by only having to convice 6jurors of guilt, rather than 12. The odds of getting one wacko, KC loving jury member are reduced by half!


:blowkiss:

Friday
04-01-2009, 03:37 PM
I'm amazed there will be only 6 jurrors. I've been here every day since July and never came across this info before. Duh.

Manny
04-01-2009, 03:50 PM
Is this only in Florida?

one_hooah_wife
04-01-2009, 03:58 PM
Is this only in Florida?

Well, I have not looked at other state law ... and I am most familiar with TN and AL law .... so I do not know ... keep in mind this is a state's law matter ... for this case ... I Have referenced FL Law only!

Friday
04-01-2009, 04:24 PM
Not to be a kill-joy but if I were the only hold-out against convicting someone, I'd be more willing to yield to the opposing opinion of 11 other people, than I would be willing to yield to the opposing opinion of only 5 others. I'm not implying that I'd been more intimidated if eleven people ganged up on me. Rather, I mean that I'd be more willing to doubt/question my own judgment if 11 people adamantly disagreed with me. If there were only 5 people who saw things the opposite of me, I'd be more inclined to shrug that off, stand firm, and try to bring them around.

Lately, I notice I'm using a lot more words to try to explain myself, but not doing a better job of it. LOL. So, to reduce all the above to one sentence: I'd be more willing to question my own judgment if 11 other people thought I was dead-wrong, than I'd be if only 5 people thought that.

DotsEyes
04-01-2009, 04:38 PM
Seems to me that having only 6 jurors benefits the prosecution.

Issi
04-01-2009, 04:44 PM
I'd be more willing to question my own judgment if 11 other people thought I was dead-wrong, than I'd be if only 5 people thought that.


Certainly one way to look at it and I don't disagree.

I think it works from both angles 50/50....


But...

What if you had two hold outs on a conviction in a group of 12 that you had to convince... or even three?

Cutting the jury down to six, imo, cuts down on deliberation time.

If I were a juror, I would rather deliberate with five other people than a group of twelve. With a smaller group, it's easier to discuss and you have less cross talk... To me, it's simply more focused.

natsound
04-01-2009, 05:22 PM
I don't know if the 6:1 odds versus 12:1 odds works when talking about the chances of one juror holding out. I've long believed 12 people on a jury is too many, because instead of convincing 6 minds, you have to convince 12. We recently had a very important trial of a public official here. It was a mistrial because of 1 juror out of 12.. and this guy is so obviously guilty. Now taxpayers will have to cough up more cash to do it all over again.

Marple
04-01-2009, 05:25 PM
I have served on a jury of 12 in an other state and also on a jury of 6 in Florida. The jury of 6 was much easier.

trixi491
04-01-2009, 07:02 PM
Altho I agree with Friday's comment, I also feel that lowering the number of jurors makes the jury feel more close. I know I would feel much closer with 5 other people I had come to sit with day after day than I would 11. Then during final deliberation to see those 5 other people felt she was guilty, I might be more keen to hearing them out and reconsidering than I would a larger amount of people I felt less of a connection with. That's JMO.

NancyT
04-01-2009, 07:58 PM
Since the defense will be looking for a moron, it would seem to me that finding 1 in 6 would be harder than finding 1 in 12. :crazy:

Friday
04-01-2009, 08:39 PM
Certainly one way to look at it and I don't disagree.

I think it works from both angles 50/50....


But...

What if you had two hold outs on a conviction in a group of 12 that you had to convince... or even three?

Cutting the jury down to six, imo, cuts down on deliberation time.

If I were a juror, I would rather deliberate with five other people than a group of twelve. With a smaller group, it's easier to discuss and you have less cross talk... To me, it's simply more focused.

I don't disagree at all. :)

panthera
04-01-2009, 09:48 PM
Not to be a kill-joy but if I were the only hold-out against convicting someone, I'd be more willing to yield to the opposing opinion of 11 other people, than I would be willing to yield to the opposing opinion of only 5 others. I'm not implying that I'd been more intimidated if eleven people ganged up on me. Rather, I mean that I'd be more willing to doubt/question my own judgment if 11 people adamantly disagreed with me. If there were only 5 people who saw things the opposite of me, I'd be more inclined to shrug that off, stand firm, and try to bring them around.

Lately, I notice I'm using a lot more words to try to explain myself, but not doing a better job of it. LOL. So, to reduce all the above to one sentence: I'd be more willing to question my own judgment if 11 other people thought I was dead-wrong, than I'd be if only 5 people thought that.
I understand what you're saying, and you bring up a good point. :)

panthera
04-01-2009, 09:50 PM
Seems to me that having only 6 jurors benefits the prosecution.
I think it all goes back to who is on the jury and not necessarily the number of jurors. Even with only 6, the state still needs to carefully weed out the potential pro-defense ones during voir dire.

BondJamesBond
04-01-2009, 11:04 PM
Good question.

For anyone willing to wade through it, the U.S. Bureau of Justice provides a plethora of statistics here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cases.htm). I didn't see anything on a quick review that would help this discussion, but...it was a quick look.

The best approach I can think of regarding this question would be to ask it in the extremes and see if it makes a difference.

Would a jury of 1 benefit either?
Would a jury of 1,000 benefit either?

I can only give a biased answer, but, IMHO, when there is sufficient evidence to make the case - which I believe we'll see in this one - increasing the jury size has the effect of jury behavior increasingly simulating the behavior of the mass population and finding individuals whose definition of "reasonable" varies widely from the 'norm' and would therefore be willing to hold out for the defense.

So...with no better argument than that...I'd say 6 benefits the SA more than the defense...if ever so slightly. Since the Supreme Court upheld it, perhaps there were some statistics presented @ the time showing no bias 6 vs. 12...maybe.

You may also consider the juror selection process. Are there any benefits one way or the other in the selection process SA vs. defense? Selection...regardless of 6 or 12...is make or break.

Nore
04-01-2009, 11:27 PM
I'm amazed there will be only 6 jurrors. I've been here every day since July and never came across this info before. Duh.
---------
Thanks.:crazy::crazy:

MDdetective
04-01-2009, 11:29 PM
Not to be a kill-joy but if I were the only hold-out against convicting someone, I'd be more willing to yield to the opposing opinion of 11 other people, than I would be willing to yield to the opposing opinion of only 5 others. I'm not implying that I'd been more intimidated if eleven people ganged up on me. Rather, I mean that I'd be more willing to doubt/question my own judgment if 11 people adamantly disagreed with me. If there were only 5 people who saw things the opposite of me, I'd be more inclined to shrug that off, stand firm, and try to bring them around.

Lately, I notice I'm using a lot more words to try to explain myself, but not doing a better job of it. LOL. So, to reduce all the above to one sentence: I'd be more willing to question my own judgment if 11 other people thought I was dead-wrong, than I'd be if only 5 people thought that.

bolded and color by me

that's me everyday after lunch lol...anyways I agree with your whole post :)

Dear Prudence
04-02-2009, 12:32 AM
Wow. I just can not believe a case like this would only have 6 jurors. I live in Texas and have served on civil and criminal juries, both of which consisted of 12 jurors. The criminal case was easy decision on guilt but punishment we bickered. Because ten of them went for max, I think the other two agreed more easily. If only 6 total jurors, I think it would have been harder to decide.

MomofBoys
04-02-2009, 12:46 AM
Wow, I now feel privileged to have sat on a Florida jury of 12. Heh.

My situation was slightly different as we were selected to serve only during the penalty phase, as the original jury's recommendation was thrown out because of an inappropriate comment made by one of the lawyers.

I thought it was a fairly seamless process, but by not having to determine guilt we merely had to reach a consensus. That's quite a bit easier.

That said, I don't think a smaller jury benefits either side. The voir dire process is the same (as far as I'm aware) and it all has to do with the six (lucky, oh so lucky) selected for this trial. It seems like such a crapshoot. But you WOULD think that it's less likely to find a KC-lovah in a pool of six than of 12, like someone else said.

So the more I think about this, the more I think it helps the prosecution. Maybe it's because I desperately want to believe that, but it only takes one to hang a jury, but you have to have a unaminous decision to convict. Easier to convince six, and whether you have a pool of six or 12, you can still have a holdout.

So yeah. How's that for stream of consciousness?

Marina2
04-02-2009, 02:35 AM
The way I see it is:
The defense needs only one holdout to have a hung jury. With 6 jurors, they have only 6 chances for a hold out. If there were 12, they would have 12 chances to get that one hold out. I see it like lottery tickets. If I buy 12 I have more chances of winning than if I only buy 6.
For this reason I think it benefits the state to have 6 jurors instead of 12.

dax
04-02-2009, 10:31 AM
Since the defense will be looking for a moron, it would seem to me that finding 1 in 6 would be harder than finding 1 in 12. :crazy:

I think they will be looking for that moron long before the 6 jurors are picked.

That's why I don't believe either side benefits.

They are all picked from the same pool. Seems to me it would be easy to whittle it down to 6 people you REALLY like.

I wonder if the jury intructions would be different though?

Here's a link for the jury instructions for FL:

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions.shtml

MiraclesHappen
04-02-2009, 12:47 PM
Talk about being a "killjoy."
I am "pretty sure" this is still a "capital case," and that there will be 12 jurors for the trial.

SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA


STATE OF FLORIDA, Petitioner
vs.
CHARLES L. GRIFFITH, Respondent.




"...state's decision not to seek the death penalty in a first-degree murder case does not automatically permit trial by a six-person jury,...

Section 913.10, Florida Statutes (1985), and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.270 state that twelve persons shall constitute a jury to try all capital cases, and six persons shall constitute a jury to try all other criminal cases.
This Court has previously held that, for the purposes of this statute and rule, a capital crime is one where death is a possible punishment. State v. Hogan, 451 So.2d 844 (Fla. 1984). See Rusaw v. State, 451 So.2d 469 (Fla. 1984); Rowe v. State, 417 So.2d 981 (Fla. 1982); Donaldson v. Sack, 265 So.2d 499 (Fla. 1972); see also Fla. R. Crim. P.


3.140(a)(1) ("Capital Crimes. An offense which may be punished by death shall be prosecuted by indictment."). In sub section 782.04(1)(a), Florida Statutes (1985), the legislature classified first-degree murder as a capital felony, alternatively punishable by death or by life imprisonment with no parole for twenty-five years as provided in sub section 775.082(1), Florida Statutes (1985)....


The state contends that, when it waives the death penalty in a first-degree murder case, a defendant is no longer entitled to a twelve-person jury because death is not a possible punishment. We disagree.
It is well settled that the legislature has the power to define crimes, set punishments, and prescribe the number of jurors (not less than six). The prosecutor has no such power. The prosecutor cannot, by electing not to seek the death penalty, change the classification of an offense from capital to noncapital and unilaterally determine whether a defendant is entitled to trial by a twelve-person jury...."


http://vlex.com/vid/florida-vs-charles-l-griffith-respondent-20842432:wolf:

Humble-Opinion:wolf:

theskredes
04-02-2009, 12:50 PM
I have served on a jury of 12 in an other state and also on a jury of 6 in Florida. The jury of 6 was much easier.

Why was a jury of 6 easier?

LisaNY
04-02-2009, 01:00 PM
I think that getting 6 people to totally agree is much easier than getting 12 people to agree. If we are speaking of a general case, I do not know that benefits either SA or defense. In this particular case, with the information that is already known to the public, I think you will have 6 jurors waiting for an explanation from the defense regarding the accuseds actions / inactions, and they will not get it unless KC testifies (not happening). It only takes one to hang a jury, and that would not matter if it was 1 in 6, 12, or even more. Jury selection may be the hardest part of this trial. Since there are no offers on the table, I am leaning towards SA having a solid case.

moo

Dear Prudence
04-02-2009, 01:02 PM
Since the defense will be looking for a moron, it would seem to me that finding 1 in 6 would be harder than finding 1 in 12. :crazy:

When I first read that I thought you said "Since the defense will be looking like a moron" :floorlaugh:

Themis
04-02-2009, 02:12 PM
Talk about being a "killjoy."
I am "pretty sure" this is still a "capital case," and that there will be 12 jurors for the trial.

SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA


STATE OF FLORIDA, Petitioner
vs.
CHARLES L. GRIFFITH, Respondent.




"...state's decision not to seek the death penalty in a first-degree murder case does not automatically permit trial by a six-person jury,...

Section 913.10, Florida Statutes (1985), and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.270 state that twelve persons shall constitute a jury to try all capital cases, and six persons shall constitute a jury to try all other criminal cases.
This Court has previously held that, for the purposes of this statute and rule, a capital crime is one where death is a possible punishment. State v. Hogan, 451 So.2d 844 (Fla. 1984). See Rusaw v. State, 451 So.2d 469 (Fla. 1984); Rowe v. State, 417 So.2d 981 (Fla. 1982); Donaldson v. Sack, 265 So.2d 499 (Fla. 1972); see also Fla. R. Crim. P.


3.140(a)(1) ("Capital Crimes. An offense which may be punished by death shall be prosecuted by indictment."). In sub section 782.04(1)(a), Florida Statutes (1985), the legislature classified first-degree murder as a capital felony, alternatively punishable by death or by life imprisonment with no parole for twenty-five years as provided in sub section 775.082(1), Florida Statutes (1985)....


The state contends that, when it waives the death penalty in a first-degree murder case, a defendant is no longer entitled to a twelve-person jury because death is not a possible punishment. We disagree.
It is well settled that the legislature has the power to define crimes, set punishments, and prescribe the number of jurors (not less than six). The prosecutor has no such power. The prosecutor cannot, by electing not to seek the death penalty, change the classification of an offense from capital to noncapital and unilaterally determine whether a defendant is entitled to trial by a twelve-person jury...."


http://vlex.com/vid/florida-vs-charles-l-griffith-respondent-20842432:wolf:

Humble-Opinion:wolf:

Well, that settles it. This is a 12 person jury unless the charges are modified. Thank you, Miracles! :woohoo:

NancyT
04-02-2009, 02:31 PM
Wow. I just can not believe a case like this would only have 6 jurors. I live in Texas and have served on civil and criminal juries, both of which consisted of 12 jurors. The criminal case was easy decision on guilt but punishment we bickered. Because ten of them went for max, I think the other two agreed more easily. If only 6 total jurors, I think it would have been harder to decide.

The only case I ever followed that had a jury of 6 was Warren Jeffs, the polygamist head of the Fundamentalist Mormon church. I believe that trial was held in Utah, but then he was also to be tried in Nevada on similar charges (I've not kept up with the case, so have no clue where it stands).

NancyT
04-02-2009, 02:37 PM
When I first read that I thought you said "Since the defense will be looking like a moron" :floorlaugh:

Well, that's equally as true. :saythat:

Theonly1
04-02-2009, 02:41 PM
Talk about being a "killjoy."
I am "pretty sure" this is still a "capital case," and that there will be 12 jurors for the trial.

SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA


STATE OF FLORIDA, Petitioner
vs.
CHARLES L. GRIFFITH, Respondent.




"...state's decision not to seek the death penalty in a first-degree murder case does not automatically permit trial by a six-person jury,...

Section 913.10, Florida Statutes (1985), and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.270 state that twelve persons shall constitute a jury to try all capital cases, and six persons shall constitute a jury to try all other criminal cases.
This Court has previously held that, for the purposes of this statute and rule, a capital crime is one where death is a possible punishment. State v. Hogan, 451 So.2d 844 (Fla. 1984). See Rusaw v. State, 451 So.2d 469 (Fla. 1984); Rowe v. State, 417 So.2d 981 (Fla. 1982); Donaldson v. Sack, 265 So.2d 499 (Fla. 1972); see also Fla. R. Crim. P.


3.140(a)(1) ("Capital Crimes. An offense which may be punished by death shall be prosecuted by indictment."). In sub section 782.04(1)(a), Florida Statutes (1985), the legislature classified first-degree murder as a capital felony, alternatively punishable by death or by life imprisonment with no parole for twenty-five years as provided in sub section 775.082(1), Florida Statutes (1985)....


The state contends that, when it waives the death penalty in a first-degree murder case, a defendant is no longer entitled to a twelve-person jury because death is not a possible punishment. We disagree.
It is well settled that the legislature has the power to define crimes, set punishments, and prescribe the number of jurors (not less than six). The prosecutor has no such power. The prosecutor cannot, by electing not to seek the death penalty, change the classification of an offense from capital to noncapital and unilaterally determine whether a defendant is entitled to trial by a twelve-person jury...."


http://vlex.com/vid/florida-vs-charles-l-griffith-respondent-20842432:wolf:

Humble-Opinion:wolf:

THANKS! I knew it was not 6 but have too many other things to do than look it up. :)

:blowkiss:

MiraclesHappen
04-02-2009, 03:48 PM
THANKS! I knew it was not 6 but have too many other things to do than look it up. :)

:blowkiss:



I know what ya mean.:blowkiss:

I could be wrong, but it just seems to make sense. Not that that fact it makes sense is a guarantee of anything in the law. :wolf:

one_hooah_wife
04-02-2009, 03:55 PM
Thanks Miracles, for your due diligence!! I saw a few weeks ago that another poster said that there would be 6 jurors instead of 12 and I thought NO WAY! So, I looked up the statute and the bright-line ruling of Williams v. FL ... but I totally missed the FL Supreme Court ruling. It definitely sounds like there would be cause for appeal if they went ahead with seating only 6 so, surely they will seat 12.

Thanks again!:blowkiss:

MiraclesHappen
04-03-2009, 09:35 AM
Thanks Miracles, for your due diligence!! I saw a few weeks ago that another poster said that there would be 6 jurors instead of 12 and I thought NO WAY! So, I looked up the statute and the bright-line ruling of Williams v. FL ... but I totally missed the FL Supreme Court ruling. It definitely sounds like there would be cause for appeal if they went ahead with seating only 6 so, surely they will seat 12.

Thanks again!:blowkiss:



You are welcome, OHW!!!:blowkiss:

It's still an interesting topic......you made us think.:wolf: