Lawmaker wants to increase number of jurors in felony trial - Fox 2 News Headlines

Fla. lawmaker wants to increase number of jurors in felony trials

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

A Florida lawmaker says he plans to file legislation to increase the number of jurors in felony trials.

State Rep. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, wants to increase the required number of jurors in felony cases in Florida from 6 to 12. 

His actions come following the divisive verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, but the move to increase the number of jurors in felony trials was advocated by many long before the neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

"Despite varying opinions of the George Zimmerman trial verdict, all must be inclined to agree that a juror panel made up of all women and only one non-Caucasian is not an accurate cross section of the Florida in which we live."

The Florida Constitution requires "at least" six people to serve on a jury.  Critics, like Rep. Bray,  have said that number is too few to represent the cultural diversity in the state.

"It is time to bring truth, integrity and diversity to the Florida Jury system. A jury of one's peers needs to replicate the different colors and textures that is embodied in Florida. That cannot effectively be accomplished with six persons," said Bracy.

Rep. Bracy said  he will introduce a bill during the 2014 legislative session.

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