Wisconsin governor signs 12-person jury mandate

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that erases six-person juries in misdemeanor cases.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that a state law providing for a six-person jury in misdemeanor cases conflicted with a provision in the Wisconsin Constitution requiring a 12-person jury in all criminal cases.

The bill eliminates the six-person misdemeanor jury and requires a 12-person jury for every criminal case unless the parties involved and a judge agree to a smaller panel.

The measure was among 30 bills that Walker signed or vetoed privately on Thursday morning in Milwaukee. Walker's legislative liaison sent lawmakers an email notifying them that the governor was signing the bills into law.

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