Patton v. United States 281 U.S. 276 (1930)

views updated

PATTON v. UNITED STATES 281 U.S. 276 (1930)

In this case a unanimous Supreme Court, speaking through Justice george sutherland, held that the constitutional right to a jury in a federal court included exactly twelve members who were to render a unanimous verdict. (See jury size; jury unanimity.) Sutherland also declared that a defendant might waive his right to a jury or consent to a jury of less than twelve. Forty years later, in williams v. florida (1970), a case involving a state court, the Court held that fixing the number of required jurors at twelve was a "historical accident" and "cannot be regarded as an indispensable component of the Sixth Amendment."

David Gordon

(see also: Waiver of Constitutional Rights.)