It is now official – ALL states must have a unanimous jury verdict in order to convict someone. Although Washington State was one of the 48 states that already required such a finding (as well as all Federal Courts), who knows what would have happened if the US Supreme Court found differently on the issue.
We need worry no longer. Why? Because last week the highest court in the land ruled that state juries must be unanimous in order to convict defendants in criminal trials. This ruling specifically impacted two states – Louisiana and Oregon. The ruling overturned a Louisiana second-degree murder conviction resulting in a life sentence for Evangelisto Ramos on a 10-2 jury vote.
Justice Neil Gorsuch declared in the majority opinion, “[T]he Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial is incorporated against the States under the Fourteenth Amendment … [t]hus, if the jury trial right requires a unanimous verdict in federal court, it requires no less in state court.” The high court’s ruling overturned its 1972 decision in Apodaca v. Oregon.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, or have been arrested in Seattle, don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.