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Ballew v. Georgia


Ballew v. Georgia followed several significant cases regarding jury size, and helped to establish guidelines in this area. Though for centuries 12 had been considered the magic number for juries, that idea was challenged in Williams v. Florida (1970), when the Court ruled that a state could allow juries of only six persons. With Colegrove v. Battin in 1973, it extended this provision to federal courts. As Justice Powell would later write in an opinion concurring with the Court's Ballew decision, "a line has to be drawn somewhere if the substance of jury trial is to be preserved." Ballew set that line at six members, and no fewer.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Ballew v. Georgia - Significance, Fulton County Looks Behind The Green Door, The Court's Social-science Approach