Editor’s note: These are excerpts from an interview by Joseph Peery with Belinda Parker Brown, President of Louisiana United International, about their recent victory in overturning the10/2 jury law. Former confederate Senator Thomas Semmes described the 1898 law as part of their mission “to establish the supremacy of the white race in this state to the extent to which it could be legally and constitutionally done.”
People’s Tribune: You just had an election in Louisiana for unanimous juries. Tell us about that.
Belinda Parker Brown: We knocked on doors. We drove people to the polls. We had ‘get out the vote’ rallies. The people came out like never before to vote so we would have the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers and have a 12-person jury panel. If you don’t know what a 10/2 is, it means you could go to trial and be convicted and sentenced to life in prison with just 10 out of 12 people making that decision. It was crafted so they could lock up especially African American men and throw the key away.
PT: How many prisoners are convicted by 10/2?
BPB: We have over 2,000 people sitting in these godforsaken hellholes. We won that vote by 64%. The majority of the public did not want this law on the books. So we were successful in getting it changed, but now we have to make it right. And we are going to fight until they get it right. We want the law to become retroactive so that we can help those people who didn’t get a fair trial.
PT: How are prisoners challenging this law?
BPB: Errol Victor, Sr., was given life for a crime he did not commit. And his case is taking the lead to help the others. And the reason why his case is so significant is because they’re going to hear why he should be freed immediately, or given another trial to prove his innocence. On March18, 2019 there is a hearing to determine this.
PT: What can the public do to help out?
BPB: We want them to come to 1020 Cambridge Dr., Laplace, LA 70068. We want to pack the courtroom. We want national news. We want social media to come out and support this cause.
For the full interview go to peoplestribune.org.
For more info, contact Belinda Parker at 985-503-0626 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.