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Measure Details

An Act to Amend the Constitution to Provide that a Person Accused of Any Criminal Offense in Superior Court for Which the State is Not Seeking a Sentence of Death May Waive the Right to Trial by Jury and Instead be Tried by a Judge

North Carolina Ballot Measure - SB 399

Election: Nov. 4, 2014 (General)
Outcome: Pending

Categories:
Crime
Legal
Constitution

Summary

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
is guilty.

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
described above.

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.

Measure Text

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.

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