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Louisiana House backs letting voters decide on controversial jur - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Louisiana House backs letting voters decide on controversial jury verdict law

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Courtesy MGN Online Courtesy MGN Online

For the first time since its birth in the Jim Crow era, a Louisiana law that allows juries to return non-unanimous verdicts in felony trials will go directly before state voters in a referendum, after the state House of Representatives voted 82-15 on Monday to place a proposed constitutional amendment to end the practice on the ballot.

The vote means that, barring an unlikely procedural hiccup, Louisiana voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to join 48 other states in requiring unanimous jury verdicts in all felony trials.

Calling the referendum, which requires only a simple majority of voters to pass, does not require approval from Gov. John Bel Edwards. Edwards nevertheless has stated his support for changing a law that was born in white supremacy and continues to disadvantage black defendants more than white ones, according to an intensive review of six years of felony trials in Louisiana by The Advocate.

Read the full story at The Advocate.

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