Supremes: Unanimous Verdicts Required for Serious Crimes

You would think you cannot have a jury that finds the evidence supporting a conviction “beyond a reasonable doubt” if two of 12 jurors do have doubts. But for a long time, two states (Oregon and Louisiana) have nevertheless allowed for a conviction on 10-2 verdicts. Until now. In Ramos v. Louisiana, the US Supreme Court ruled (a) that the right to a jury trial, which is specified in Article III, Section 2, and yet again in the Sixth Amendment, includes the right to a unanimous verdict and (b) that this federal constitutional right applies to the states. Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly.

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