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New Orleans DA Jason Williams granting new trials to 22 convicted by split juries

Leapfrogging ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams waived objections Friday to new trials for 22 Louisiana state prisoners who were convicted by split juries between 1974 and 2014.

He said the action was aimed at wiping away the stains of the Jim Crow legal era in a state that began allowing non-unanimous convictions after an 1898 state constitutional convention focused on maintaining white supremacy. The Supreme Court ruled some split verdicts unconstitutional last year.

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