It was called the “Hail Mary” bill when Senator J.P. Morrell filed it back in March, but unanimous jury verdicts are a vote of the people away from becoming reality in Louisiana. At first liberal advocacy groups like the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center were all for it. Then other groups like Louisiana Family Forum joined and the District Attorney’s association took a neutral stand. Morrell says that’s when things began to change.

“We were at 24 votes, which was woefully short. Then the bill passed and since it passed the senate it started to gain tremendous momentum.”

Louisiana is just one of two states that do not require unanimous verdicts.

“It is so obviously egregious and differs from the standards of other states and it defies what the founders of our country had in mind when they created the jury requirement in the bill of rights.”

The last hurdle will be to convince voters to approve the amendment when it come up for a vote in November.

“If they are deliberating whether or not to lock you up for potentially the rest of your life, you can have two people who think you didn’t do it who the other ten people can just ignore.”

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