On July 16 and on June 29, I posted sections from selected state constitutions which specifically guarantee the right to a jury trial for civil suits. It’s time for Part III in the series, with more quotes:
“The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. Juries in criminal cases in which a sentence of death or imprisonment for thirty years or more is authorized by law shall consist of twelve persons. In all criminal cases the unanimous consent of the jurors shall be necessary to render a verdict. In all other cases, the number of jurors, not less than six, and the number required to render a verdict, shall be specified by law.” — Arizona Constitution, Article 2, Section 23. Additionally, Section 31 of Article 2 adds, “No law shall be enacted in this state limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury of any person.”
“Trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and the right thereof remain inviolate. The General assembly may provide, however, by law, that a verdict may be rendered by not less than five-sixths of the jury in any civil case.” — Pennsylvania Constitution, Section 6.
“The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate; but the general assembly may authorize trial by a jury of a less number than twelve men in inferior courts; but no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” — Iowa Constitution, Section 9.
“(H)e or she shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself or herself, nor shall he or she be deprived of life, liberty or property, unless by the judgment of his or her peers or by the law of the land.” — Delaware Constitution, Section 7.
“The right of trial by Jury shall be secured to all and remain inviolate forever; but a Jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law; and in civil cases, if three fourths of the Jurors agree upon a verdict it shall stand and have the same force and effect as a verdict by the whole Jury, Provided, the Legislature by a law passed by a two thirds vote of all the members elected to each branch thereof may require a unanimous verdict notwithstanding this Provision.” — Nevada Constitution, Article I, Section 3.
“The right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate, except that the court shall render judgment without the verdict of a jury in all civil cases where no issuable defense is filed and where a jury is not demanded in writing by either party.” — Georgia Constitution, Article I, Section I, Paragraph XI.
Many other state constitutions simply state that the right to a trial by jury “shall remain inviolate,” with no language to differentiate between civil and criminal cases. For instance, Section 13 of the Illinois Constitution states, “The right of trial by jury as heretofore enjoyed shall remain inviolate.” The official annotated version of the Illinois Constitution includes the following explanation: “The U.S. Constitution’s Seventh Amendment guarantee of a right to jury trial in civil cases does not apply to state courts. But this section and its predecessors in earlier Illinois Constitutions protect the right in both civil and criminal cases. The right of trial by jury ‘as heretofore enjoyed’ has been held to refer to the right both under English common law and as it existed at the time of adoption of each Illinois Constitution.”