Should juries have to be unanimous?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Thursday, September 14th

Tommy talks with Emily Maw, the Director of the Innocence Project New Orleans, about why Louisiana has non-unanimous jury verdicts.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I never talk about juries are mentioned the first Monday in October that's in the US Supreme Court convenes but. They're expected to decide on September 25. Whether or not to hear. The case of deal Lambert. In March when he fifteen convicted by a tended to vote for fatally shooting. Another man. And he wants basically the Supreme Court to hear the case of his case and see whether or not conviction by ten to two instead of a unanimous verdict is constitutional. Emily mud joins us renowned director of the innocence project in new loans good morning Emily. Did I'm butcher that too terribly here is that about what's going on. I so let's talk about the roots. I tended to. The verdict the jury not totally agreeing unanimous verdict how did that started the only other state that has that I believe is Oregon ranked. Okay. That it did not unanimous jury rule in the Louisiana which as you say we want to state that haven't. Everywhere every other state requires unanimous. Jerry that it expects. It comes from the pace to reconstruction constitutional convention in Louisiana. Which was designed very specifically. To exactly that people from the typical press and so one of the things that was enacted. During that time was short and the constitution during that time. Was. A little bit of black jury to convict. It is in 93 that they. Wait let me interrupt for saying if I may why would this necessarily be racist. In that. Only nine people had to agree now was was BO how would it be different and if a defendant were not black. It is to do with the racist it is and it's to do it with excluding. Minority. Voices for all. That the political crisis the jury deliberations. If you have a state whack said he percent of the population is black which. We. Was it happened on applicable. And and it. If you exclude food and three people on top passenger died. A problem that can prevent I'd get sick leave I mean is that they are but could go convict even if three they have three minority terrorism even if they get paid to convict. And talk about them told people who would be called to be jurors protection act got try to sanitary. If you you know if you is it if you if you refuse that juries should be eat. For the proportionately rapid that the population. In its pots of state. What you look and feel outrageous is that barrack and the some you know minority you have a jury is gonna be. People of back. That way and that way and that is the paste reconstruction era in Louisiana which was. The political time that was that the about the music back people from power. You I'd be. You know they didn't positions of power in the reconstruction there. What what happened is we have to you know during. And ended the constitutional convention maybe. 71. I think. It was we writ in difficult situations that it would it be content to rout of the tree and pick people who be challenging. That. Again. This comes from aid that the batteries that Barry. I had a bit about it all the media today that it. B we don't want to be a place where that we his compete Iqbal cap these people in any part that it be at its present for what the corporate. He would talk for a second about jurisdictions and so forth and and how this would become something for the Supreme Court to hear. Shall I do you think about that that the very good point whether all this is not a constitutional. Question. I think they're very stroll onto that it is. That it had to take a look at the protections pregnancies. The bill of rights. But I don't think. I think the question is going to need. Every effort statement just passed it well I think that everything they consider it is not utilizing. Accidentally hit it in Jerry. And if it is if there's a risk that is leading to convictions in cases. Which you know they took what the the past they depleted and in the role of the fact that not all the correct. Has a few days of the cases off of steals department has its prisons. The decades of deford before. But experts is revealed. Why I do mean there's there's two reasons for. Let me throw this out there we have heard from prosecutors that given the prevalence of shows like CS cyan. Name and watch him but the law and order and those kind of things on a nowhere there's. So much DNA evidence presented that the standard has been gotten ahead has become higher for prosecutors because juries are expecting evidence that. You know lot of times just doesn't exist. Does that in any way I applied to this day in terms of justice or not. So I mean I think attitude to responses but I would cost about particulate. Integrity. But it should be to convict. We knew what we can expect to be patently for the that is very serious car. It should be that should be very very difficult for the government to to right. That is all part of a thing that is what our whole justice is based. And what I think about is our capital to I did not believe there is statistic. That the jet. But in the 48 states that do require a mystery that X prosecuted. Not able to convict people that it in the media that they can't. I like. It is important. To indict the inside of the cases but it was the economy. Prisoners and these prison. Also at 5101520. Cents it. Indeed not unanimous jury take it. They cases involve. Very shaky evidence to that they have people who are convicted based on a nickel as an attempt to injury that. And it's 28. The of the burden that it could reopen actress was the magic. Wasn't connected to cherry jury that even even with. Anybody to see. Did he start to realize what that what a crucial protections that requirement you know and we can be. More people are wrongly convicted by tended to juries say or at least that you know about be designed I don't think there's a chance to review every case but. Then then more people are wrongly convicted by tended to juries and unanimous yearns. What people are expecting that there is Eric Berry but wrongly and the two shall have a pretty good to date on the it will not is that if we did in we can't since 1990 people's stock tank think. It's at fort Yates reprieve the wrongful convictions to cooperation. About a second highest rate of any state in the country. We. Ol' days 48 cases. 25 of them. Work cases where the defendant was eligible to be convicted by it you know mystery I'd say about the cause. There are cases for example it can complicate surface to rededicate. Don't you know don't you activity. Is it's not you have to hot out that. Or plead guilty obviously it's it's not an issue where the bad trial judge it's the Trier of fact it's not a two of the 48 exploration we had a state. Since 1990. 25 of basic operations the that was eligible to be convicted by a mystery. And in that would've they take is the president wants convicted the Bible you know mystery actually it's at least that are there a couple of cases that have. I wouldn't have to break that the jury verdict that is not electric Christina school board on. This continent apart on this set because we do the hard numbers on. What the well what would gentry the break that pathetic is. If you know if it ended in any given day it felony trial. Lack. Topic Gerry is required to convict. You know I think it'd have percent of them come back on unanimously. That'll be that twenty fun place as of the political convictions if statistic team. Significant in the that the moral stand. We have seen. Kate is recipes in it would be opposite of the divide on you know mr. But the commitment that they count on how all that people are getting ready convicted by the mr. we did not. One of the things that the at this stage putted should do if we get clinic they talk about it a federal or constitutional issue is simply not true. It is something we should not. Justice actually get three questions Emily you weren't lightning ground we only about three minutes left innocence project tell us about it real quick an epiphany I had one time. Years ago and until the storyline that I was. Wrongly cuffed and stuffed in the back of a police guard who was cleared up ten minutes later and at that point my epiphany was you know wide. Not everybody in jail is guilty on Tommy about the innocence project. We represent people that said it is not like or anything that's the life. Who have provable claims actually we investigate this case to be years. About security people like what we can't help but there are cases where we can gather evidence on the day more of the it is that they are taking it as as he puts it at any of the prosecuted that area and right now. Like about but there's a lot of evidence for the civil. Investigate these cases take. Cordoba we can what we believe we can prevent it from. We missed it but we have. I come in terms of the supreme court's likely in this to take up this case of deal Lambert they were too. Cases before precedents that said tended to work constitutional Johnson V Louisiana another one in Oregon whose name I can't pronounce. But I guess it's getting in the weeds how likely is his court to take it up and secondly how likely is it that they world would overturn knows. A president's. So on late. I think the more information that is available these cases the history of the of the requirement no but on competency requirements. And all of these statistical pragmatist such that except and the racial break battle but didn't break that the in the deliberations whether mystery. I think boat war that we build. That the more informed the court is going to be that that the biblical quotes to be critical the critical. Can make a decision about whether. You know that a disparate impact on minorities whether it such a backed off. I'll have such negative effect of people facing trial potentially for crimes they did commit that it is it is it is taller. Phase of things we we we did that would not the yet there's a basic still like that could be stripped out of the constitutional. But the key things we can do Eric counter that they can't. Gap of more than eight. Or whether whether it court Israel conviction weathered a disproportionate people cut awaited. Traditionally minority greats. We can also addicted to. Really all people so that the reasons that we need it because but it does get. One good reason for why he. On a lighter note before we let you go I have to you know. Lady from the UK wound up in Louisiana. From the directing the innocence project. Yes I came here by eighteen music. And current intention. Undergraduate student I've been inevitable. Dispel unlawful. He can afford a ticket back. Yet I am only thank you and we'll talk to you again and they you know this kind of like a little pet cause a mine because. Yeah again it really did blow open my eyes that matter but in jail as guilty thank you so much like it.