Pros and Cons of Const’l Amendments

When voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, 2018, they may be surprised to find they have a lot more to vote on besides the candidates running for statewide and local offices. Also included are six proposed statewide Constitutional amendments and one proposition, which will be on the ballot only in East Baton Rouge Parish.
On-line Sports Gambling. The local proposition would allow gambling on fantasy football and other fantasy sports online in East Baton Rouge Parish.  We oppose this new form of gambling because it is highly addictive and will prey on thousands of our citizens.
The Advocate reports, “Since 1990, Louisiana has legalized a lottery, a land-based casino in New Orleans, 15 floating casinos that now have the right to move onto land and operate more slot machines, plus slot-machine emporiums at four racetracks and video poker at 3,600 bars and 205 truck stops. Given that array of wagering options, Louisianans might be surprised to learn their state constitution prohibits gambling.”
Yes, the constitution prohibits it but corrupt judges and other officials have nevertheless legalized it.
We’re voting no.
State Constitutional Amendments.  The most important proposition on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot is Amendment No. 2 to require unanimous juries in all felony cases. Unanimous juries are already required in capital cases, but 10 of 12 jurors is what is required to convict or acquit a criminal defendant charged with 2nd degree murder, rape, armed robbery, and a host of other offenses punishable with hard labor.
If this amendment passes, it will mean that thousands of hardened criminals will be released to prey on the public.  If it passes, a single hold-out rogue juror will result in a mistrial and no conviction.
It is important to understand that there are many members of the public today who will not vote to convict anyone of anything.  They have had experiences with the criminal justice system and oppose the system. They want to release everyone.
Even more important is the danger of juror intimidation. It only takes one phone call to a juror or perhaps the juror’s mother to insure that the juror will never vote for a guilty verdict.
There is no protection provided in our state for jurors who are subject to threats or intimidation.  There is no money to remove them from the area or the state.
The reality is that the juror who is threatened by a gang or a thug would simply have to face the music if he voted for conviction and then had to return to his neighborhood, perhaps a poor neighborhood where crime is rampant.
The Louisiana Constitution’s Declaration of Rights is already more protective of the rights of criminal defendants than any constitution in America.
Those who want to require unanimous juries for all felonies would allow ONE PERSON — who is biased against our system or who has been threatened or intimidated — to release a person guilty of murder, rape or armed robbery, despite guilt being proven beyond a reasonable doubt to 11 other jurors.

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