S7E8: Vote YES on Amendment 2: Louisiana Faces Vote to Restore Fairness with Unanimous Juries
In forty-eight other states and in federal courts across the country, a conviction requires a unanimous vote – all jurors must agree on whether a prosecutor has met the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Louisiana is the only state where someone can be sentenced to life without parole without a unanimous decision of a jury. Non-unanimous juries allow conviction even where two citizens have reasonable doubts about the evidence. They are, as a result, unreliable. More than forty percent of all those who have been recently exonerated were (mistakenly) found guilty by non-unanimous juries. On November 6th, 2018, Louisiana voters will have a chance to change that. Amendment 2, a ballot initiative, would require unanimous agreement by jurors for all felony trials. Jason Flom is joined by Doug DiLosa of Rising Foundation and Chris Pourciau the Deputy Director of the Unanimous Jury Coalition, through the Promise of Justice Initiative. Doug DiLosa is himself a victim of non-unanimous jury. He was wrongfully convicted of second-degree murder in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole with less than a unanimous consensus of his guilt. Based on the information and evidence Doug was able to gather on his case, in 2000 the Federal Court reversed his conviction and he was released from prison in January of 2001. For more information about his case please listen to Doug DiLosa’s first interview on Wrongful Conviction in Season 1.
Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good™ Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.