Vote Yes on 2!
This fall, Louisiana voters will decide whether the state should remain one of only two in the nation in which a citizen can be convicted by a non-unanimous jury. Constitutional Amendment #2 will appear on the ballot in November 2018.
In forty-eight other states and in federal courts across the country, a conviction requires a unanimous vote – all jurors must agree on whether a prosecutor has met the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We need everyone on board to get the message out about C.A.2 and we cannot do it without you.
More than 40% of all those who have been recently exonerated in Louisiana were convicted by non-unanimous juries. But together we can all do a little to balance the scales of justice and make our courts fair for everyone.
Urban League of Louisiana • NAACP of Louisiana • Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild • Louisiana Progress • Independent Women’s Organization • Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus • Congo Square Preservation Society • New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force • Youth Advocate Programs • Alpha Phi Alpha • Music and Cultural Coalition of New Orleans • New Orleans Coalition • Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops • Interfaith Coalition for Justice • Louisiana Democratic Party • Louisiana GOP • Americans for Prosperity • Louisiana Family Forum • The Advocate Editorial Board • The Times-Picayune | Nola.com Editorial Board • District Attorney Hillar Moore • District Attorney Keith Stutes • District Attorney James Stuart, Sr. • District Attorney Charles Riddle • District Attorney Bradley Burget • District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla
"I along with our governing body believe that in criminal cases, the verdict of the jury should be unanimous.” - Andrew Bautsch, executive director of the Louisiana GOP
Louisiana Democratic Party
“The Louisiana Democratic Party believes that the unanimity of the jury is critical in protecting civil rights and liberty. We endorse Amendment 2.” - Stephen Handwerk, Executive Director of Louisiana Democratic Party
Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Albany (Chair, House Criminal Justice)
“This is truly historic legislation.” - Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Albany
Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge
“Is 10 out of 12 good enough for your children? Is 10 out of 12 good enough for your wife? Is 10 out of 12 good enough for your neighbor?” - Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge and former prosecutor
Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell
“When we speak of Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury law, we are, in fact, speaking about the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees an impartial jury. This is no small matter. What’s at issue is our most sacred legal compact. If we don’t preciously guard it, every person’s liberties are at stake. Guarding it is not optional. It’s our moral responsibility as much as it is our duty as members of a larger human rights community.” - Angela A. Allen-Bell, Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Analysis, Southern University Law Center
“Voting for Amendment 2 for Unanimous Juries is the most important issue on the ballot on November 6th. Louisiana can end legalized discrimination in our court system and join 48 other states which require unanimous juries and move forward with criminal justice reform in Louisiana.” - Melissa Flournoy, Board Chair of Louisiana Progress
Ed Tarpley, former district attorney
“It’s the unanimous jury of 12 citizens that makes a decision about whether to deprive someone of their liberty. It’s a powerful protection we have in our government.” - Ed Tarpley, a former district attorney of Grant Parish
Americans for Prosperity
“Unanimous juries are a hallmark of American jurisprudence and the standard in all states outside of Louisiana and Oregon. By advancing this bill, legislators have rightly reinstated the proper protection of Louisianans’ civil liberties. This is, beyond a reasonable doubt, the right thing to do.” - AFP-LA State Director John Kay
Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus
"Our Caucus stands squarely against every vestige of discrimination enshrined in law. This fall, the people of Louisiana must come together to restore justice to our Courts." - State Representative Randal Gaines, Chairman of Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus
Louisiana Family Forum
“The framers of the Constitution clearly believed the constitutional right to trial by jury included unanimity. John Adams once said, ‘It's the unanimity of the jury that preserves the rights of mankind.’ Equity in our criminal justice system may require that Louisiana finally embrace the same standard called for by the founders, 48 other states, and all federal courts. 138 years is long enough.” - Gene Mills, president of Louisiana Family Forum
District Attorney Keith Stutes, Lafayette Parish
“I simply think at this point in our history, it’s no longer good for us to be one of only two states that are different than the rest of the nation.” - District Attorney Keith Stutes
The Advocate Editorial Board
“...abandoning the need for jury unanimity in felony trials works against law and order. It holds Louisiana to a lesser standard of justice, which can only diminish the stature of the legal system.” - The Advocate Editorial Board
The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com Editorial Board
“Considering the awesome amount of power the state has to place a person behind bars, the state ought to be made to convince all the members of a jury of that person's guilt. People accused of crimes in Louisiana are no less deserving of a criminal justice process that puts a deliberately heavy onus on the state to prove that defendants are guilty.” - The Times-Picayune Editorial Board
The New York Times Editorial Board
“Here’s a hint: When 48 states and the federal government disagree with you, it’s worth considering the possibility that you might be wrong. ...Majority rule is good when it comes to the democratic process, but it’s not enough when someone’s constitutional rights and liberty are at stake.” - The New York Times Editorial Board