Lawmaker to File Bill Expanding Florida Juries to 12 for Serious Felonies

Aug 5, 2013

Florida is one of just two states that don't require a 12-person jury for felony trials. That became news last month, when a six-woman jury acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Democratic State Representative Randolph Bracy of Orlando says he was already working on a bill to expand Florida juries to 12 for serious felonies. Then the Zimmerman verdict showed him the time was right.

"A jury of 12 is more deliberative than a jury of 6. They take more time, they have more people, more opinions", Bracy said. "A jury of 12 is just more deliberative, and it increases the chances of getting it right."

Some say smaller juries save states time and money. Others say the savings are negligible.

Bracy says in serious felony trials, with much at stake, a 12-person jury is warranted.

He’s preparing a bill for the next legislative session.