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U.S. Supreme Court rules juries must be unanimous to convict of a serious crime

U.S. Supreme Court rules juries must be unanimous to convict of a serious crime

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Monday that the 6th amendment requires unanimous jury verdicts for convictions of a serious crime. The ruling overturns a Louisiana murder conviction. It may result in new trials for hundreds of people. Only Oregon, Louisiana and Puerto Rico have allowed convictions on 10-2 or 11-1 jury votes and Louisiana recently ended them but prior convictions still stood.

JJ Shabadu Jr.
JJ Shabadu Jr. 6 months

In case you read the information -poor NY Post article and came away with almost no understanding of what constitutional principle was at issue, it appears that the case centers around the 6th amendment's guarantee to a verdict by unanimous jury decision, which had not been required under Louisiana state law until recently (Oregon being the lone current holdout). If that seems further confusing due to the subject of unanimity being conspicuously absent from the text of the 6th amendment. There appears to have been near universal understanding amongst the founding fathers and other contemporary legal minds that a unanimous jury verdict was inherent in the right to trial by jury and therefore needn't be specified. Here is the full text ofbthe 6th ammendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

porcus 6 months

I completely support this ruling. It's a fantastic change to the judicial system requiring unanimous indictment (no reasonable doubt) from the jury of peers for serious crimes (ie: murder). It should not require much change in the judicial system to implement it and it SHOULD be retroactively applied imo. This is a good ruling and further increases the rights of the individual.

Max Bants
Max Bants 6 months

Wow, this is huge. I have nothing clever to say, I'm not even sure what the longterm consequences of this could be...

IvoryDove 6 months

Am I the only one to notice that the decision to require a unanimous decision was a split decision?.... We should require SCOTUS to make unanimous decisions. Our at least, 9:3. After all, if the constitution isn't clear enough, the solution is not to let 5 jurists decide what it means, the solution is to amend it.

Barry 6 months

Reinterpretations and misinterpretations of the Constitution causes more problems

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