Louisiana Passes Amendment Requiring Unanimous Jury Verdicts for Felony Convictions

Since the Jim-Crow era, Louisiana has not required unanimous jury verdicts to obtain a felony conviction in non-capital cases. Historically, it was shown that the non-unanimous jury requirement was put in place to disenfranchise African-American voters who made up a minority on most jury pools. Louisiana remained only one of two states that allowed non-unanimous felony convictions, only requiring 10 of 12 jurors to agree.

This past week, Louisiana voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution which now requires unanimous jury verdicts in all felony cases. The amendment had broad bipartisan support, and will apply to any crimes that take place after 2018.