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The United States Supreme Court Finally Struck Down Oregon’s Law Authorizing Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts in Criminal Cases

A disgraceful stain on Oregon’s history is finally being addressed.  Back in the 1930’s, the KKK exercised power in Oregon politics.  As a result of xenophobia, racism, anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism, Oregon voters adopted a Constitutional amendment authorizing non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases.  The proponents of that law were explicit in their desire to marginalize minority voices on Oregon juries.

Until today, Oregon has stood alone in permitting non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases.  (The only other State that permitted non-unanimous jury verdicts was Louisiana, but that State updated its law recently, leaving Oregon on an island.)

Finally, after more than 85 years of Oregon’s shameful law remaining on the books, Oregon’s practice has finally been declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Ramos vs. Louisiana.

The US Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos denounces Oregon’s practice as being the product of racism and xenophobia, and henceforth forbids Oregon from disenfranchising minority voices on our juries.  Oregon’s despicable practice has finally received the end that it so richly deserved.

Follow this link to read the Ramos decision:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-5924_n6io.pdf

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