Bid to strike Jim Crow-era jury law poised for public vote - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bid to strike Jim Crow-era jury law poised for public vote

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - It appears likely that Louisiana voters will have a chance this fall to strike a Jim Crow-era law that lets divided juries settle criminal cases.

The House on Monday approved the constitutional amendment by a vote of 82-15, putting the proposal one small step from a public vote.

Currently, serious felony trials in Louisiana can be decided when 10 of 12 jurors agree on a person's guilt.

Sen. J.P. Morrell says his measure would end a policy rooted in a time when lawmakers were trying to maintain white supremacy.

Prosecutors who opposed the measure argued it's hard to get 12 jurors to agree.

The Senate has already backed the proposal but must approve minor amendments before the measure can go to the public in November.

Senate Bill 243: www.legis.la.gov

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