The Oregon District Attorneys Association last week announced plans to lead a ballot campaign to abolish the state’s unusual practice of allowing nonunanimous juries to decide some felony cases.
The move is long overdue, and the association’s action is welcome. And, on a day when we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., it’s worth remembering that Oregon’s embrace of nonunanimous juries has a historical precedent that’s based in racist and anti-Semitic beliefs.
In Oregon, a jury’s 10-2 vote is sufficient to convict in most felony cases, although a conviction for murder or aggravated murder still requires a unanimous verdict. Oregon and Louisiana are the only two states that allow nonunanimous verdicts. Federal courts require unanimous verdicts.Read More (Offsite)