Oregon Appeals Court To Hear Case Contesting Non-Unanimous Juries

The Oregon Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments Thursday in Salem involving the case of an African-American man who was convicted by a non-unanimous jury in 2016.

The case has been closely watched because the court could find non-unanimous juries violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“The equal (protection) provision requires that everyone be treated equally,” said Marc Brown, Olan Williams’ attorney and the chief deputy defender with the state’s Office of Public Defense Services. “In this situation, someone who is a minority, who has a jury trial in Oregon is not treated equally as would be a white defendant.”

The defendant in the case is Olan Williams. In July 2016, he was convicted of sodomy in the first degree and sentenced to more than eight years in jail….

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