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Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Puerto Rico's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that not guilty verdicts in criminal cases must be unanimous, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. territory has allowed a minimum of nine out of 12 jurors for not guilty verdicts for nearly seven decades.

What they're saying: The majority of judges in the court said in their decision that not guilty verdicts should require the same unanimity mandated for guilty verdicts.

  • The two dissenters countered by arguing that a defendant is presumed innocent until the state proves them guilty. One also accused his colleagues of distortion, per AP.

The big picture: The 5-2 decision is the result of a 2016 case that involved a Puerto Rican man accused of first-degree murder, and comes more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that jury verdicts must be unanimous to convict defendants in criminal trials.

  • Louisiana, Oregon and Puerto Rico had not required unanimity for convictions until the high court's ruling.

Go deeper

Supreme Court upholds qualified immunity for police officers

Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued two rulings for separate cases in Oklahoma and California upholding a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity has been a focus of police reform efforts and would force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties.

Trump blasts “wacky” GOP Sen. Cassidy after “Axios on HBO” interview

Former President Trump on Monday blasted Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) after he told "Axios on HBO" that he is not sure Trump could win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Driving the news: When told that Trump could be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in saying: "I don't know that."

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's carbon emissions-cutting pledge faces tough climb

Image from the Rhodium Group study "Pathways to Paris." Courtesy of the Rhodium Group.

The verdict is in: President Biden's U.S. emissions-cutting pledge isn't a fantasy, but the path to meeting it is very difficult and relies on forces outside of White House control.

Driving the news: The Rhodium Group just released an analysis of policy combinations that could close the gap between the current U.S. trajectory and Biden's vow under the Paris Agreement to cut emissions in half by 2030.