State Senate passes 12-person jury bill

Gavel
File photo (WLUK)

MADISON (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate has passed a bill that would do away with six-person juries in misdemeanor cases.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that a state law providing for a six-person jury in misdemeanor cases conflicted with a provision in the Wisconsin Constitution requiring a 12-person jury in all criminal cases.

The bill eliminates the six-person misdemeanor jury and mandates a 12-person jury for every criminal case unless the parties involved and a judge agree to a smaller panel.

The Senate passed the proposal on a voice vote Tuesday with no debate. The Assembly passed it last month. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker. The governor’s office has been non-committal on whether he supports the measure.

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