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If given the choice, would you rather be judged by a judge, or by a jury of your peers? Our legal experts weigh in...
Tags:acquittal rate,attorney,bench trial,clientelevision,criminal accused,criminal defense lawyer,defendant,judge or jury trial,jury trial,law,peers,right to jury trial,waive
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In most cases, defendants have a right to a trial by jury. A jury of twelve people who are randomly chosen education-wise, economically, race, religion—purely random!
In the small cases where you are not facing jail time, generally, you are not going to have a right to a jury trial. You are going to have to go before a judge. In most other cases, you can choose Judge or a jury!
The common precept used to be that a non-jury trial, the Judge only trial and you would hear time and again was a long guilty plea!
Most criminal defense lawyers recommend to their client to choose a jury.
I never felt that way and I am always in the right circumstance, gone none jury!
The judge’s have heard these same stories over and over again! The judges are not nearly as persuaded by facts. They are not nearly going to weigh the balance in favor of the defendant as they probably should.
That is interesting. There have been some recent studies that say that the equivalent rate of non-jury trials in the Federal System is greater than of jury trials.
Jurors are more likely to find reasonable doubt than judges.
This study of the Federal System is fascinating and I think justifies those of us who have on occasion gone non-jury!