Six-person juries are in the news again. The two articles below discuss why some defense lawyers and legislators are pushing for six-person juries. In the first example, the state of Hawai'i is studying the feasibility of employing the six-person jury as a cost cutting move--it is cheaper to sit six rather than twelve. In the other example, defense attorneys in Chicago are using six-person juries to get "more opportunities to challenge and eliminate jurors relative to the jury's size and thus...craft the jury."
Honolulu Advertiser: Panel considers 6-person jury
Hawai'i lawmakers may consider legislation next year that would reduce the standard size of a jury from 12 to six people for civil trials and minor criminal trials in state courts.
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that if a criminal defendant wants a jury with fewer than 12 people and the judge allows it, a state prosecutor can't stop it. (Birkett v. Dockery)