NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)—Gregory Earls recalls the jury count of the 2009 2nd-degree murder trial that sent his brother Brandon to Angola for life.
Earls stated, “It was 10-2. 10 people said guilty, 2 people said not guilty.”
His families hope rests with the Louisiana Supreme Court after today’s arguments challenging non-unanimous juries.
According to Earls, “I hope the rule in the right way and do what their predecessors couldn’t do and knock this Jim Crow law down forever because it needs to be done. People need to have a fair day in court.”
On the front lines in the fight is the nonprofit The Promise of Justice. Their attorneys made the argument in front of the court today, and they see today’s proceedings as an opportunity for the state.
Executive Director Mercedes Montegna stated, “This is a chance, and this is our chance for Louisiana to fix our own wrongs.”
That being said, there are some who question victims’ rights in overturning juries.
“We don’t honor victims and survivors by having a shaky system, by having a system that has to use racist laws in order to secure convictions. What that does is it shakes everyone’s faith in what’s happening. We’ve worked with victims and survivors who say exactly that,” said Montegna.
As for the Earls, they’re asking that statewide, prosecutors follow the lead of what’s happening in New Orleans, “I don’t feel like it’s a get out of jail free card. I just feel like these cases need to be looked at and if Jason Williams can do that in Orleans, the other 63 prosecutors in their parishes can do the same thing too.”