Summers noted that jurors only have to come back with a simple guilty or not guilty verdict. They do not need to explain why or how they reached that conclusion.
And that poses a significant question, he says. Without knowing why a jury made the decision it did, "how do you say that your trial was unfair based on the fact you had a six-person jury?"
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Most states have 12-member juries
The concept of 12-member juries dates back hundreds of years to England, and most states continue to seat that number in felony trials.
But some states began seating smaller juries out of the need for efficiency: seating half the number of jurors saves time and money.
Florida statute dictates that six people serve on juries in criminal trials, except in cases in which the death penalty is being sought. In those cases, a 12-member jury is seated. Connecticut, Indiana, and Louisiana have similar systems.
In 1970, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a six-member jury in Florida was sufficient under the Sixth Amendment. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled that a five-member jury was too small.
Today, 42 states require 12-member juries in felony cases.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania parties can agree to fewer jurors, according to the National Center for State Courts. But not fewer than six.
In Arizona, juries consist of eight members unless it's a capital case or one that carries a sentence of 30 years or more.
In Utah, 12 jurors are required in capital cases, but eight are seated in other felonies.
Source: Sentinel research