Supreme Court says unanimous jury verdicts required in state criminal trials for serious offenses

A view of the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC.

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

(CNN) -- The Supreme Court said Monday that unanimous jury verdicts are required in state criminal trials for serious offenses, handing a victory to criminal defendants including petitioner Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted of murder in Louisiana on a 10-2 vote.

Ramos argued that Louisiana's non-unanimous jury provision violated his federal constitutional right to trial by jury and that the law had racist roots meant to diminish the votes of minority jurors.

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