OR Supreme Court ruling on unanimous jury verdicts to impact past convictions

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A ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court may impact hundreds of past convictions in the state.

The court ruled Friday morning that the requirement of unanimous jury verdicts in serious criminal cases applies to older cases, including some still on appeal.

For nearly a century, Oregon law allowed for non-unanimous jury verdicts of 10-to-2 or 11-to-1 in most criminal cases.

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Then in 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a criminal defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial includes the right to a unanimous jury verdict.

The Oregon Department of Justice then asked the Oregon Supreme Court whether the unanimous jury rule would apply retroactively to state post-conviction cases.

The court found it should still apply to cases before the 2020 ruling.

State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s office says the Oregon DOJ is working to implement the court’s decision.



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