Georgia Rejects Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts Proposal

On March 20, the Georgia State Senate overwhelmingly (44-7) rejected a proposal that would have allowed non-unanimous jury sentencing verdicts in capital cases. The proposal would have permitted a judge to impose a death sentence when at least 10 of 12 jurors supported it. Current Georgia law requires that the jury vote unanimously for a death sentence. Some opponents of the bill said it would have put Georgia's entire death penalty law in jeopardy.  (All other death penalty states that allow the jury to decide the sentence require unanimity for a death sentence, protecting minority points of view.)

(“Senate rejects proposal to allow non-unanimous jury verdicts,” by Bill Rankin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 20, 2008). See Recent Legislation.