Louisiana votes to require unanimous jury decision in criminal cases

From [HERE] Louisiana voters approved Amendment 2 on Tuesday, which will amend the state’s constitution to require unanimous jury decisions to convict in criminal cases. The measure passed by a margin of 64.4 percent to 35.6 percent.

Currently, in order to obtain a conviction, only 10 out of the 12 jurors need to concur. The amendment will only apply to offenses that were committed on or after January 1, 2019. Oregon is now the only state in the country that still allows a non-unanimous jury to send a person to prison.

A jury’s role in convictions is an important topic in criminal cases throughout the world. In March 2017 Florida enacted a law that required death penalty sentences to be imposed only if the jury unanimously recommends the death penalty. In April 2010 the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that it was constitutional to try terrorism cases without a jury. Japan had its first jury trial in 60 years on 2009. Palau also approved a trial by jury system in 2009.