Rush is on to get convicts new trials in wake of non-unanimous jury ruling
BATON ROUGE- East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore estimates that 15 cases affected by a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year requiring unanimous juries to convict defendants in criminal trials will need to be retried soon.
In his office alone, there were 18 cases affected by the Ramos' decision. Jace Crehan was among the retrials. Crehan took a plea deal for his role in killing his girlfriend's molester. Crehan was sentenced to three decades in prison. Originally, he was sentenced to life in prison but was convicted by a non-unanimous jury.
In another retrial that began this week, Michael Jackson was convicted of video voyeurism and sentenced to 80 years in prison after he was convicted as a habitual offender from a July 2016 arrest. Jackson got caught at a fast-food restaurant sticking a camera under a bathroom stall to film females. The registered sex offender had multiple other convictions on his record. Because Jackson was convicted by an 11-1 jury, he was granted a new trial.
"The Ramos decisions we have to get to in one year," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "We have scheduled those for trial, and some will be resolved. But majority have not yet been retried."
Prosecutors have one year from the granting of a new trial in each case to retry it. COVID delays from last year will also factor in.
Currently, there are about two trials per month. With this latest concern, the pending cases are being put on the back burner. The cases affected by the Ramos decision will need to be addressed first.
"Now we have to get to these cases before we can get to those that are actively ongoing now," Moore said.
Moore added that most of the cases that will need to be retried are less than 10 years old.
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