Ramos vs Louisiana


Ramos was tried and convicted of murder. LA and OR allow for nonunanimous convictions in some serious cases. The jury went 10-2 guilty, and he was sentenced to life without parole.

Today, 4/20/2020, the Supreme Court overruled a 1972 precedent that serious crimes do not require a unanimous conviction, 6-3. Gorsuch wrote for the majority, including RBG, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh, that the Sixth Amendment requires unanimity. Dissenters were Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and John Roberts.

Opinions and observations:

First, those lines have nothing to do with the pop-law territories of conservative vs liberal.

Secondly, the case overturned established precedent.

Third, Louisiana and Oregon are the only states where guilty with a non-unanimous conviction is possible for serious crimes. For lesser crimes, it’s possible lots more places.

I’m really looking forward to reading these opinions.

I want to reemphasize how far that strayed from partisan lines. It’s not one swing vote jumping ship but rather a completely separate breakdown. The Supreme Court is made up of humans, flawed and biased, but they are doing their best. It gives me confidence.