Supreme Court of the United States Issues Landmark Ruling – Sixth Amendment Guarantee of Unanimous Verdicts Apply to State Criminal Trials
In a ruling that will undoubtedly affect the criminal justice system in Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark ruling today in Ramos v. Louisiana. Justice Neil Gorsuch announced the judgment of the Court and issued the opinion for the majority.
The Court overturned a previous decision which Louisiana (along with Oregon) relied upon in order to not require a unanimous verdict when convicting a citizen of a crime. All other 48 state courts and all federal courts require unanimous verdicts to convict.
The Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires a jury to reach a unanimous verdict in order to convict. This decision will immediately affect all pending felony cases in Louisiana as well as any convictions that are not yet final or that are on direct review if they involve a conviction reached by non-unanimous verdict.
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