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Ballew v. Georgia

Significance, Fulton County Looks Behind The Green Door, The Court's Social-science Approach


Claude Davis Ballew


State of Georgia

Petitioner's Claim

That a Georgia law providing for juries of only five persons was in violation of the right to trial by jury guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, and that by depriving the petitioner of his rights, this law further violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Michael Clutter

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Leonard W. Rhodes

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 March 1978


That by depriving the petitioner of his right to trial by jury, the state of Georgia had violated his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Related Cases

  • Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1968).
  • Baldwin v. New York, 399 U.S. 66 (1970).
  • Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 100 (1970).
  • Johnson v. Louisiana, 406 U.S. 356 (1972).
  • Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972).
  • Colegrove v. Battin, 413 U.S. 149 (1973).
  • Sanders v. Georgia, 424 U.S. 931 (1976).


Grunwald, Michael. "Lawsuit Surge May Cost U.S. Billions; 125 Claims Allege Breach of Contract." The Washington Post, August 10, 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980