Jury box

Khorrami v. Arizona

Location: Arizona
Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed
Last Update: March 7, 2023

What's at Stake

This case concerns whether a person charged with a felony is guaranteed the right to a 12-person jury trial under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.


Ramin Khorrami, a man charged with blackmailing a woman with whom he had been having an affair, was convicted by a jury with only eight members. Khorrami argued that the 8-person jury violated his Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury – which, as he claimed, must comprise 12 members.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Khorrami’s petition for certiorari. The ACLU argued that the original meaning of “jury” as the term is used in the Constitution, was a body of 12 members. The brief recounts that when the Constitution was ratified, English common law required 12-member juries so Americans at the time likewise understood a jury to consist of 12 people. Post-ratification cases and treatises also demonstrate that “jury” in the Constitution was originally understood to be comprised of 12 members.

The Supreme Court denied review.

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