Every time we watch a movie or a TV show involving a courtroom, it seems that they always bring up a jury of 12. Would you be surprised to know that the number of jurors depends on how much prison time someone is facing? It's true. In Arizona, the number of jurors can range anywhere from 6 to 8 to 12. The difference between a criminal jury vs a civil jury, however, is that all jurors must be unanimous on their verdict.
In Arizona, juror numbers are found in statute. Title 21 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 102 lays out how many jurors are needed in a criminal trial. If a person is facing the possibility of 30 or more years in prison than they get 12 jurors. If a person is facing less than 30 years in prison, then they get 8 jurors. Finally, if the trial is taking place in a court not of record, like a justice court or a misdemeanor court, then the person gets 6 jurors.
Courts choose one or two more jurors than needed, so that if one of the jurors gets sick or is unable to serve on the jury, they have alternates. Before the jurors go to deliberate, the court will excuse the number needed to get to the statutory number of jurors. The excused jurors are chosen at random. This blog is only educational and is not advice on your case. If you have any questions regarding your case, you should talk to your attorney or schedule a consultation with me at Signature Law Group.