High court won’t make unanimous jury requirement retroactive

Washington DC

The decision affects prisoners who were convicted in Louisiana, Oregon and Puerto Rico

Morning light shines outside The United States Supreme Court building on March 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says that prisoners who were convicted by non-unanimous juries before the high court barred the practice a year ago don’t need to be retried.

The justices ruled 6-3 Monday along conservative-liberal lines that prisoners whose cases had concluded before the justices’ 2020 ruling shouldn’t benefit from it.

The decision affects prisoners who were convicted in Louisiana and Oregon as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the few places that had allowed criminal convictions based on divided jury votes.

During arguments in the case, the justices were told that ruling in favor of the prisoners could mean retrials for 1,000 to 1,600 people in Louisiana alone.

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