Judge: New law creating 6-person juries unconstitutional

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County judge says a new Illinois law that cut the size of civil-case juries from 12 to 6 people is unconstitutional. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports Judge William Gomolinski ruled Monday the Illinois constitution provides for 12-person juries. He says that “may not be altered by statute.” The Legislature and then-Gov. Pat Quinn approved the law in 2014. It took effect June 1. The measure also more than doubled jurors’ pay. Supporters said higher pay would create more diverse juries, and reducing jury size would help alleviate the cost of paying more. Defense attorneys argued the change benefited plaintiffs’ lawyers, who would have to persuade fewer jurors to side with them. A plaintiff’s attorney says he plans to appeal.