Supreme Court says unanimous jury verdict requirement does not apply retroactively
May 17, 2021 at 18:23
Washington (CNN) The Supreme Court said on Monday that a decision last term holding that the Constitution requires unanimous jury verdicts for state criminal trials does not apply retroactively.
The ruling is a loss for Thedrick Edwards and hundreds of others in Oregon, Louisiana and Puerto Rico, jurisdictions that allowed non-unanimous verdicts before the Supreme Court's decision last year in Ramos v. Louisiana.
The 6-3 majority decision was penned by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was joined by the court's other conservative members.
In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan, joined by the court's other two liberal members, wrote that last year's decision "comes with a promise, or at any rate should."
"If the right to a unanimous jury is so fundamental -- if a verdict rendered by a divided jury is 'no verdict at all' -- then Thedrick Edwards should not spend his life behind bars over two jurors' opposition.
I respectfully dissent," she wrote.