Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. supports the passage of Constitutional Amendment 2 on the November 6, 2018, ballot.
“On November 6, we have the opportunity to be on the right side of history and align our state with the 48 other states that require a unanimous jury verdict for criminal convictions,” Stewart, a retired judge on the district and appellate levels, said. “Louisiana already requires unanimous verdicts to convict for offenses tried before six-person juries and for capital cases tried before 12-person juries. Only convictions for felony offenses punishable at hard labor may be obtained by a verdict of 10 out of 12 jurors.”
D.A. Stewart says it is an appropriate moment for the people to vote for this Amendment.
“The time to correct this anomaly is now,” he said. “Amendment 2 has broad bipartisan support and is an important step in building on the criminal justice reforms enacted by the Legislature in 2017. Requiring unanimous verdicts for felony offenses will instill trust in our criminal justice system and ensure that all persons are treated equally under the law.”
The legal system will benefit under the change, and it will function as intended.
“Though opponents to this needed change suggest that it will be more difficult to obtain convictions, I am fully confident that our citizenry will abide by the law in fulfilling their duty as jurors,” he said. “Fear of change should not be the enemy of doing what is right. I support passage of Amendment 2 and ask you to join me in voting ‘yes’ on November 6.”