Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart is throwing his support behind a proposed amendment that would require a unanimous jury verdict in criminal cases.
Constitutional Amendment 2 is one of six that will appear on the November 6 ballot.
“On November 6, we have the opportunity to be on the right side of history and align our state with the 48 other states that require a unanimous jury verdict for criminal convictions,” Stewart, a retired judge on the district and appellate levels, said. “Louisiana already requires unanimous verdicts to convict for offenses tried before six-person juries and for capital cases tried before 12-person juries. Only convictions for felony offenses punishable at hard labor may be obtained by a verdict of 10 out of 12 jurors.”
Stewart says now is the right time for this to change.
“The time to correct this anomaly is now,” he said. “Amendment 2 has broad bipartisan support and is an important step in building on the criminal justice reforms enacted by the Legislature in 2017. Requiring unanimous verdicts for felony offenses will instill trust in our criminal justice system and ensure that all persons are treated equally under the law.”