Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Endorses Amendment 2 for Unanimous Juries
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 9, 2018
"Our Caucus stands squarely against every vestige of discrimination enshrined in law."
Baton Rouge, La. - The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus (LLBC) announced its endorsement of Constitutional Amendment 2, which will require unanimous jury verdicts in all felony trials in Louisiana if passed.
The LLBC's endorsement is the latest in a wave of bipartisan support for Amendment 2.
"Our Caucus stands squarely against every vestige of discrimination enshrined in law," LLBC Chairman Rep. Randal Gaines (D-LaPlace) said in a statement. "This fall, the people of Louisiana must come together to restore just to our Courts."
This week, Amendment 2 also received the formal endorsement of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, who released a statement. With momentum building ahead of the November 6th election, support for Amendment 2 continues to make national headlines as leaders on both sides of the aisle come together in favor of unanimous jury verdicts in Louisiana.
"It's time to bring our law in line with nearly every other state in America, and end use of this discriminatory law--once and for all," Rep. Gaines concluded.
The Unanimous Jury Coalition is a group of community-focused organizations working on voter education and registration across the state leading up to the November election. It will conduct a robust statewide effort to inform voters about Constitutional Amendment 2.
Bipartisan support for the ballot initiative formed after Louisiana lawmakers were presented evidence indicating more than forty percent of all those who have been recently exonerated were (mistakenly) found guilty by non-unanimous juries. Louisiana's outlier status - only Oregon has similar jury procedures - also persuaded lawmakers to bring the issue to a vote of the people. In 48 other states, all jurors must agree on whether a prosecutor has met the burden of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Louisiana is the only state where someone can be sentenced to life in prison without parole without an unanimous decision of a jury in favor of a guilty verdict.
For more information, visit www.UnanimousJury.org.