Supreme Court Asked To Require Unanimous Juries


Oregon and Louisiana allow criminal convictions by a jury vote of 10 to 2. In 1972, the Supreme Court said the Constitution does not require states to insist on unanimity. the rulings, one each from Oregon and Louisiana, were badly fractured and internally inconsistent, says the New York Times.

Scott Bowen, an Oregon man sentenced to 17 years in prison for sex offenses, is asking the Supreme Court to have another look at the issue. The case against Bowen was based on statements from his daughter, 15, who had run away from home. Bowen said his daughter had made up the accusations to gain her independence. Prosecutors were able to convince only 10 jurors of Bowen's guilt. In Oregon, that was enough. Bowen’s argument is supported by the American Bar Association, experts in jury behavior, legal historians, the criminal defense bar and civil rights lawyers.

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