Oregon House resolution would refer unanimous jury verdicts to people.
House Joint Resolution 10 would invite Oregonians to amend the Oregon Constitution to require unanimous verdicts in felony cases.
Under current law, it only takes 10 jurors on a 12-person, felony jury to convict a person of a felony. Oregon is the only state in the country that allows people to be convicted by non-unanimous juries. Every other state and the federal government require verdicts to be unanimous.
House Joint Resolution 10 proposes to align Oregon with the rest of the country. HJR 10 would put a question on the 2020 ballot asking Oregon voters to amend the constitution to require unanimous jury verdicts. The resolution is supported by the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) but has also attracted support from the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors, the Oregon Department of Justice, and the Oregon District Attorneys Association.
The Oregonian editorial board supports juvenile justice reform.
Senate Bill 1008, which was recently passed by a super-majority of the state senate, would require judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether juveniles should be tried in adult court for serious offenses. The bill would also eliminate the sentence of life without parole for juvenile offenders, enhance the potential for early release juvenile offenders, and reduce the number of juvenile offenders transferred to adult prisons.
The House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the bill on April 24, 2019 but, at this time, no further hearings are scheduled.