Is 12 an Important Number?

Lesson Duration

Author:  The Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago/ The American Jury

This interdisciplinary lesson considers the use of 12 members on a jury, and whether decreasing that number impacts the chance of a fair trial.  Students learn about some historical uses of the number 12.  They then participate in a statistical impact of jury size on juror diversity.


  • Involve students in an interdisciplinary lesson in which they determine statistical probability of minority placement on a jury of twelve as opposed to a jury of six.
  • Draw the issue of jury size to student awareness.
  • Students will evaluate the impact of reduced jury size.
  • Students will speculate/form reasoned judgments upon the impact to justice.



"The American Jury: Bulwark of Democracy" is an on-line resource guide for teachers, students, and citizens devoted to explaining the American jury system and its role in American legal, social, and political life.