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Ballew v. Georgia


Two decades after Ballew, its establishment of a six-person minimum for jury size remained. Questions about jury decisions themselves, however, have been raised often, particularly in the cases resulting from the beating of motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles police in 1991, and from the murder indictment of O. J. Simpson in 1994. On 9 January 1998, Michael J. Saks and Richard Owen Lempert, authors whose studies Justice Blackmun had quoted heavily in Ballew, participated in an Association of American Law Schools symposium entitled "Is It Time to Replicate The American Jury?" The latter was a study undertaken in the 1950s by Kalven and Zeisel, two other researchers to whom Blackmun referred several times in Ballew. "Once again," the announcement of the University of Iowa symposium read,

the jury system seems to be under wide-ranging attack. Whether many or some of these criticisms are valid and point to needed changes in the jury system or whether they are largely new myths, would seem to require new, large-scale, empirical research on the functioning of the jury system. Has the time come for such work?

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