SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Until Monday, Oregon was the only state that still allowed nonunanimous jury convictions. The U.S. Supreme Court ended that in a decision involving a murder conviction in Louisiana, a state which, until 2019, had also allowed nonunanimous jury convictions. But the ruling also applied to Oregon’s law. State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Oregon will now address “the many cases” that require review because of the decision. “We have been expecting this ruling, and we’re well-prepared to address its significant consequences for Oregon’s justice system,” Rosenblum said. The Supreme Court decision “has finally ended an unjust rule with a shameful past in Oregon,” said professor Aliza Kaplan, director of the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. In 1934, Oregon voters decided to amend the state constitution to allow split-jury verdicts — a decision fueled by white supremacy and anti-minority sentiment. First-degree murder convictions still required a unanimous jury verdict. Cash Spencer was one of two jurors in a 2016 trial in Portland who voted that the defendant was innocent. She was also the only African-American on the jury in which the defendant was also black. The 10-2 conviction of… Read full this story
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