Louisiana might be home to a Black musical legacy that inspires R&B musicians like John Legend, but it remains one of the most difficult states for Black people to find justice in court. Legend highlights one of the state’s most pernicious laws—one that allows non-unanimous juries to convict suspects of felonies—in an op-ed that The Washington Post published yesterday (August 13).

“Louisiana is one of only two states—the other is Oregon—in which a person can be convicted of a felony and sent to prison without a unanimous vote of the jury,” the performer and outspoken critic of racist criminal injustice explains. “As a result, Louisiana prosecutors do not truly have the burden of proving their case ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ They only need to persuade 10 of 12 jurors to send a defendant to prison, even for life.”


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