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.
Louisiana Democratic Party • Lousiana Progress • NAACP of Louisiana • Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus • Urban League of Louisiana • Congo Square Preservation Society • New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force • Alpha Phi Alpha • New Orleans Coalition • Interfaith Coalition for Justice • The Advocate Editorial Board • The Times-Picayune | Nola.com Editorial Board
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 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
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
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