This week on Behind the Lens, Al Jazeera and the Lens partnered on a story about the racist past and ongoing impacts of non-unanimous jury verdicts, more than two years after Louisiana’s split jury law was repealed and a year after the United States Supreme Court ruled that non-unanimous verdicts are unconstitutional. 

Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines produced a documentary about the story, which was released early this week along with a story by Lens reporter Nicholas Chrastil. (Listen to the audio version on the Al Jazeera Longreads podcast.)

The project tells the story of Brandon Jackson, a man who has spent half his life behind bars after being convicted of participating in a Bossier Parish robbery by a 10-2 jury vote. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, Jackson’s verdict is still considered valid, but he is fighting to have it overturned. 

Our guests this week are criminal justice reporter Nick Chrastil, and Fault Lines senior producer Jeremy Young. 

Behind The Lens is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Stitcher. And we broadcast the show on community radio stations 102.3 FM WHIV LP and 90.3 FM WAMF-LP.

Carolyne Heldman

Carolyne Heldman has been in media for 35 years, most recently as Executive Director at an NPR member station in Colorado where she was responsible for new multi-platform content initiatives, strategic...