Louisiana Voters to Decide if Unanimous Verdicts Will Be Required for All Felony Convictions

Voters Will Get to Decide if Felony Trials will Require A Unanimous Decision

Currently, Louisiana and Oregon are the only two states that allow a felony conviction without a unanimous jury decision. After passing the Louisiana House and Senate, an amendment to change an 1880 law will be voted on by the citizens of the state. Democratic Senator J.P. Morrell of New Orleans wrote the bill that would change the requirement for jury felony convictions to a unanimous vote, rather than the current 10 of 12 votes.

The bill received bi-partisan support and passed 84-15 after it was presented on the House floor by both Republican Representative Sherman Mack and Democratic Representative Ted James. The measure will be voted on by the citizens November 6, 2018. If passed unanimous juries will be required for all cases for felonies committed on or after Jan. 1, 2019.


  • April 4, 2018 –  Louisiana State Senate approved SB 243 with a  27 to 10 vote.
  • May 14, 2018 – Louisiana House of Representatives passed an amended version of SB 243 with a vote of 84 to 15.
  • May 15, 2018 –  Louisiana State Senate approved the final version of SB 243 with a vote of 28 to seven.
  • November 6, 2018 Voters of Louisiana will get to vote on the amendment.

In the video, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier addresses the Louisiana House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice about the bill.

Some information sourced from http://www.legis.la.gov.