Article

Deductive Modeling to Determine an Optimum Jury Size and Fraction Required to Convict

Harry W. Kroeger, Stuart S. Nagel and Marian Neef

In 1970, the United States Supreme Court held in Williams v. Florida that due process is not violated if a state chooses to conduct criminal cases with six-person juries rather than twelve-person juries. Two years later, in Apodaca v. Oregon, the Court held that due process is not violated if a state chooses to have juries decide criminal cases by a majority of ten out of twelve jurors. Those cases were followed by a substantial literature, but there is still no systematic analysis of the fundamental issue raised by Williams and Apodaca: What is the relation between jury size, or a requirement of unanimity, and conviction of the guilty and acquittal of the innocent?