Trial By Jury Not Just a Guarantee, Also a Requirement
Here is an issue you don't see every day. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this ruled that prosecutors had the right to veto a request by a group of sex assault defendants to waive their right to a jury and allow their case to be tried by a judge. In doing so, the federal appeals court said the trial judge, who had agreed to try the case himself because he did not believe the defendants could receive a fair trial in front of jury, had made a clear error of law.
The bottom line? If prosecutors feel that a jury is likely to be harsher to a defendant the judge would be they have the right to make it happen. Or, from the other perspective, a defendant's guarantee of a trial by jury isn't just a guaranteee-- in most cases, it's a requirement.
By Andrew Cohen |
October 5, 2006; 3:00 PM ET
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Posted by: Constitutionalist | October 6, 2006 09:05 AM
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