Justice For Every
Initiative for Ballot Measure
Imagine for a moment that its 2010, not that long ago, and you are accused of a crime that you didn't commit. You are arrested, where you protest your innocence to the police. The DA charges you and you obviously request a trial because you are not guilty. During trial you learn how evidence is admitted, you see how the Judge and DA work together, and the jury is finally instructed on how they can find you guilty.
They are told that they don't all need to agree, that only 10 of them must agree beyond a reasonable doubt on your guilt.
The jury comes back, you feel confident since you know that they have the wrong person. The jury foreman reads the verdict: GUILTY!
The jury is polled, but only if you had an attorney who was privy of the possibility that SCOTUS would eventually see a unanimous jury as a constitutional requirement. The judge asks the jury individually how they voted. 10 of your jurors voted guilty, but 2 voted not guilty.
Next the judge pronounces your guilt and determines your sentence, and you go to PRISON. If you were in any state other than Oregon or Louisiana, you would not have been convicted. Is this Justice?
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Once that is complete we begin collecting the 112,020 signatures to put this before the voters.
Maybe you are thinking...
But wait two jurors have "Reasonable Doubt". Exactly. 70 years ago, in an effort to silence minority jurors, Oregon changed the rules and determined that of a jury of 12, only 10 had to vote for conviction. This is the problem. Despite 2 jurors having reasonable doubt, you would still be convicted.
Oregon has numerous citizens currently in prison on non-unanimous jury decisions. It wasn't until April 20, 2020 that SCOTUS determined that these non-unanimous jury rules rooted in racism and discrimination are unconstitutional. At the time of
the ruling, only Oregon still allowed these convictions, with Louisiana having corrected their racist law prior to the ruling.
As Oregonians we are better than this. We can not stand idly by while our fellow citizens, neighbors, friends, and family remain incarcerated or continue to live with felony convictions that SCOTUS said are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
If two jurors have "Reasonable Doubt" then how is it possible to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
The words "jury trial" themselves mean unanimous verdict.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Hamilton himself said, the right to a unanimous jury is so self-evident, we don't need to include it.