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.
Congo Square Preservation Society • New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force • Alpha Phi Alpha • New Orleans Coalition • Interfaith Coalition for Justice • Louisiana GOP • Americans for Prosperity • Louisiana Family Forum • The Advocate Editorial Board • The Times-Picayune | Nola.com Editorial Board
"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
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
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 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
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