Bill requiring unanimous jury verdicts moves closer to reality

Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, has proposed a bill to require unanimous verdicts in felony cases. (Photo credit: Sarah Gamard/Manship School News Service)

By Drew White

Louisiana lawmakers made progress Wednesday toward allowing voters to determine whether felony cases should require unanimous verdicts, a change that supporters say would preserve defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.

Louisiana is one of two states — joined by Oregon — that allow non-unanimous verdicts to decide the outcome of felony cases. Only 10 votes on a 12-person jury is now required for a conviction.

Read the story in The Louisiana Weekly.

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