US Supreme Court rules that jury verdicts must be unanimous

OREGON — A big change coming to Oregon courts, the US Supreme Court ruled today that jury verdicts in state courts must be unanimous.

That’s not currently the law in Oregon.

Louisiana and Oregon were the only remaining states that allowed convictions based on a majority vote.

Louisiana’s law was overturned in 2018.

Oregon’s remained in place.

Jackson County District Attorney, Beth Heckert, says the situation is complicated and that it’s too soon to talk about what this means for past cases.

“It’s hard to know what that number might look like for impact on our cases until we know more of how the court is going to interpret the US Supreme Court’s ruling,” said Heckert.

She says it could take up to 2 years to sort through each individual case and figure out how the unanimous verdicts effects them.

Many jury trials are currently on hold due to the pandemic.

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