House To Consider Unanimous Jury Constitutional Amendment
A constitutional amendment requiring unanimous jury verdicts in all felony trials is scheduled to be taken up by the House Monday. Louisiana is one of two states that does not require unanimous jury decisions.
Legal analyst Tim Meche says Louisiana’s outlier verdict system influences DA's to charge suspects with crimes that have longer sentences, just to have a better chance at conviction.
"Sometimes they can charge them with crimes that requires 6-person unanimous jury, but they'll charge them with a 10-2 verdict thereby increasing the sentence," said Meche.
Meche says criminal justice reformers are pushing this legislation, because the non-unanimous jury requirement leads to more defendants pleading guilty to crimes they may have not committed