Author Topic: 6 Jurors or 12?  (Read 1509 times)

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Offline AJ

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6 Jurors or 12?
« on: July 19, 2012, 01:09:46 PM »
I know the Florida statute says 12 for capital cases, but Adam Kaufman had 12. If you're not familiar with that trial, it was the same thing as Mr. Zimmerman - falsely accused of Murder II. Here's what I found about his 12 juror situation:

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Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.270 states: "Twelve persons shall constitute a jury to try all capital cases, and 6 persons shall constitute a jury to try all other criminal cases."

So, how did it happen. We have perused the court file and briefly spoken with the Judge's staff and with a member of the State Attorney's office.

Here is what we found:

Mr. Matthewman filed a Motion asking the court to conduct a jury trial with 12 jurors. Matthewman argued, according to court personnel, that because there is almost no real difference between the charge of 1st degree and 2nd degree murder when death is not sought, therefore the failure to afford a 2nd degree murder defendant a 12 person jury would be unconstitutional on numerous grounds.

Apparently Judge Miller tended to agree with the jist of the argument but told both Matthewman and the State that without precedent or agreement by the parties, she would not order a 12 person jury. Apparently, Miller was vocal enough about the novel issues raised by Matthewman that she went so far as to strongly suggest that the State seriously consider coming to this agreement. The Judge felt that the Motion raised an important constitutional issue.

The week following arguments before the Judge, the State came to court and agreed to stipulate to Matthewman's Motion and alas Kaufman had a 12 person jury.
http://justicebuilding.blogspot.com/2012/06/limited-registry-kaufman.html (Waaaay down in the comments)

Think Mr. O'Mara will try it? If so, how successful do you think he would be?

Offline AJ

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Re: 6 Jurors or 12?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 01:21:22 PM »
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I know the Florida statute says 12 for capital cases

12 only for capital cases, I meant.

Offline unitron

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Re: 6 Jurors or 12?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 10:13:42 PM »
12 only for capital cases, I meant.

Does that mean that if the death penalty is a possibility you cannot empanel fewer than 12 jurors, or that you may not empanel as many as 12 if the death penalty is not a possibility?

Offline AJ

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Re: 6 Jurors or 12?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 10:22:02 PM »
Does that mean that if the death penalty is a possibility you cannot empanel fewer than 12 jurors, or that you may not empanel as many as 12 if the death penalty is not a possibility?


Quote
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.
History.—s. 191, ch. 19554, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 8663(198); s. 87, ch. 70-339.

That's all I know, other than a bench trial anyway (where it's just the judge, option goes to the defendant for this).

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: 6 Jurors or 12?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 01:08:59 PM »
In an interview yesterday, O'Mara referred to six jurors. So I think that's what it will be.

 

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