Public to decide fate of Louisiana's Jim Crow-era jury law
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Voters will decide whether Louisiana gets rid of a Jim Crow-era law that lets divided juries settle criminal cases.
The Senate gave final passage to the constitutional amendment with a 28-7 vote Tuesday, sending the proposal to a public vote in November.
Currently, serious felony trials, including some murder cases, can be decided when 10 out of 12 jurors agree on a person's guilt. Oregon is the only other state in the country to allow split-jury decisions, though that state requires unanimity in murder cases.
Sen. J.P. Morrell says his measure would end a policy rooted in a time when lawmakers were trying to maintain white supremacy. The proposal was once a long-shot in the statehouse but picked up steam as conservatives backed the bill.