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Maxwell v. Dow - After Maxwell

privileges serious jurors immunities

The Court's verdict in Maxwell allowed states to use fewer than 12 jurors in a criminal case. But, in a broader sense, the verdict highlighted the narrow definition of privileges and immunities held by many justices for a number of years. In a 1908 case, Twining v. New Jersey, the Court said that some of the rights protected under the first eight amendments "may also be safeguarded against state action, because a denial of them would be a denial of due process." But a more liberal view of protecting privileges and immunities from state laws did not fully develop until after World War II.

Maxwell remained the law of the land until the 1968 decision in Duncan v. Louisiana. In that case, the justices ruled 7-2 that states had to use 12 jurors when trying serious criminal cases, though it left the definition of "serious" undefined.

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