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Thu Nov 15, 2018, 07:59 AM

Louisiana's new unanimous jury law puts pressure on Oregon to follow suit

Jennifer Williamson, a Portland Democrat who serves as the majority leader in the Oregon House of Representatives, said Thursday (Nov. 8) that Oregon Democrats plan to introduce two bills that they hope will lead to an end to defendants there being convicted by a split jury. After Louisiana voted Nov. 6 to change the law that allowed even murder defendants to be convicted over the objections of two jurors, Oregon now stands alone as the one state that allows split-jury felony convictions.

Apparently, there was less pressure on Oregon to change its benighted law when there was another state that had a similarly backward law. But Louisiana voters’ support for Amendment 2 has made Oregon more self conscious.

“With the dubious distinction of now being the only state to have non-unanimous juries, there’s a sense of urgency around this issue you wouldn’t have found a couple of years ago,” Williamson told The Oregonian. “It’s one of the most racist parts of our criminal justice system.”

Oregon and Louisiana are more than 2,000 miles apart. One’s in the deepest South. The other’s in the Pacific Northwest. But they are more alike than you might guess. Louisiana’s 1898 constitution, according to a former Confederate who led the judiciary commission, was written “to establish the supremacy of the white race in this State to the extent to which it could be legally and constitutionally done.” When Oregon was a territory it had a law that banned black people from living there. In 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state and the only one that banned black people.

Read more: https://www.nola.com/opinions/2018/11/louisianas-new-unanimous-jury-law-puts-pressure-on-oregon-to-follow-suit.html

Cross-posted in the Louisiana Group.

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Reply Louisiana's new unanimous jury law puts pressure on Oregon to follow suit (Original post)
TexasTowelie Nov 2018 OP
Nitram Nov 2018 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2018, 12:49 PM

1. It's about time these racist laws were amended.

I would never have expected Louisiana to get there before Oregon.

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