The North Carolina Constitution currently states that a person accused of
a crime and who is not pleading guilty to that charge cannot be convicted
unless a jury decides the person is guilty.
The proposed Amendment to the Constitution would allow a person
accused of a crime to choose to be tried by either a judge or a jury.
Choosing not to have a jury trial is called waiving the right to a jury trial. If
passed, the proposed amendment would require a person wanting to
waive the right to a jury trial to say so in court or in writing. A judge
would then have to agree to that request. If a person accused of a crime
waives the right to a jury trial, a judge would decide whether the person
Jury trials would still be required in all cases with a possibility of a death
sentence. Nothing in this proposed amendment changes federal law
regarding criminal trials.
If the majority of voters vote "FOR" for the Amendment, a person
accused of a crime will be able to waive the right to a jury trial in cases as
If the majority of voters do not vote "FOR" the Amendment, the law will
not change and a person accused of a crime will not be able to waive the
right to a jury trial.
Constitutional amendment providing that a person accused of any criminal offense for which the State is not seeking a sentence of death in superior court may, in writing or on the record in court and with the consent of the trial judge, waive the person's right to a trial by jury.