Bills for 6-member civil juries pass

March 31, 1992|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau

ANNAPOLIS -- When Maryland voters go to the polls this fall, they may be asked to change the state Constitution to permit civil cases to be heard by six-member juries instead of the traditional 12-member ones.

The Senate voted unanimously last night in favor of two House bills on the issue, one to send the proposed constitutional amendment to voters in a November referendum and the other to put the change into effect if the voters approve it.

The measures would first have to be signed into law by the governor. The legislation would not affect criminal cases, which still would require 12-member juries. Backers said the change is necessary as a cost-cutting measure and because of difficulties finding a sufficient pool of potential jurors.

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