, 6 tweets, 2 min read
Two important cases will be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court this morning:
(1) Ramos v. Louisiana challenges criminal convictions based on non-unanimous jury verdicts.
(2) Kahler v. Kansas challenges Kansas’s decision to abolish the insanity defense in criminal cases.
The litigation about non-unanimous juries was spearheaded by Calvin Duncan. He conceived the legal claims while helping fellow prisoners file briefs during his time in prison at Angola. Calvin was wrongfully convicted in 1985, released in 2011.
The @NAACP_LDF filed an amicus brief in the Ramos case which reminds the justices that Louisiana enacted the non-unanimous jury law at the same time black people were first allowed to serve as jurors. The intent was to make it easier for white jurors to convict black people.
@NAACP_LDF The Kahler case deals with the insanity defense. Current Kansas law only allows juries to consider whether a mentally ill person intended to commit a crime. The traditional approach is to consider whether a mentally ill person understood that their actions were wrong.
@NAACP_LDF That might not seem like a huge difference at first glance, but it has a major impact. The Kansas law basically says that a mentally ill person who intentionally kills another person cannot present an insanity defense, no matter how delusional or insane they were at the time.
@NAACP_LDF The Supreme Court will hear arguments on these cases this morning. It could be many months before decisions are released, so stay tuned.
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