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Smaller Juries

Re “Jury Service No-Shows Get the Word,” July 2: The notion that there must be 12 people on a jury was inherited from British tradition in 1776. In over two centuries since that time, private industry has learned to economize on the labor it uses and to tailor the amount of labor needed to the task to be performed. Jury size could be reduced, with fewer than 12 jurors used for minor civil matters and crimes. If the average jury consisted of nine people, the need for jurors would be cut by one-fourth. Rather than complain that citizens dislike conscription, the judiciary needs to move into the 21st century.

Daniel J.B. Mitchell

Los Angeles


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