News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for November 27th, 2011

Should Ohio Prosecutors be Able to Veto Defendant’s Jury Trial Waiver?

You may have seen the recent Plain Dealer Article, Ohio Prosecutors Want Power to Veto Bench Trials.  According to the article, prosecutors in 29 states and in federal court have the power to insist on a jury trial, despite the defendant’s waiver.  If Ohio H.B. 265 passes, Ohio prosecutors will be able to do so as well.  The Ohio Judicial Conference opposes the bill, because it would allow prosecutors to threaten defendants with a more expensive jury trial (higher legal fees and court costs), and strong arm them into a plea.

Some materials for and against include:

  • Fred Anthony DeCicco, Waiver of Jury Trials in Federal Criminal Cases: A Reassessment of the “”Prosecutorial Veto”‘, 51 Fordham L. Rev. 1091 (1983)
  • Adam H. Kurland, Providing A Federal Criminal Defendant with A Unilateral Right to A Bench Trial: A Renewed Call to Amend Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(a), 26 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 309 (1993)
  • Paul G. Cassell, Recognizing Victims in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: Proposed Amendments in Light of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, 2005 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 835, 885 (2005)
  • ABA Standards for Criminal Justice 15-1.2 (3d ed. 1996)