senate Bill S4745

Relates to waivers of jury trials

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 18 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Relates to waivers of jury trials.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

Versions:
S4745
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง320.10, CP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: A2054
2007-2008: A11294

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4745

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to waivers of jury
trials

PURPOSE:
To require the district attorney's consent for a defendant to waive a
jury trial.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 2 of section 320.10 of the criminal
procedure law to require that when a defendant wishes to waive his
right to a jury, the district attorney must also consent to the
waiver. Section 2 provides that this act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:
Although there is a fundamental right to a jury trial, prior to 1937
the New York Constitution was construed as barring defendant's waiver
of a jury trial of a felony. People v. Cosmos, 205 N.Y. 91 (1912). By
enactment of Article 320 of the criminal procedure law defendants
were granted the right to waive, except where the crime charged may
be punished by death. The right is not absolute and must currently
have the approval of a judge or justice of the court having
jurisdiction to try the case.

Under federal practice the consent of the government as well as the
approval of the court is required. FRCRP 25
el;Singer v. United
States, 380 U.S.24 (19.65;).

The New York Court of Appeals held in People v. Kern, 75 N.Y.2d 658,
cert. denied 498 U.S.
824, that jury service was a constitutionally protected civil right,
secured to all citizens by Article 1.5 1 of the State Constitution.
Furthermore, the legislature, through enactment of Section 500 of
the judiciary laws 500 declared: "It is the policy of this state that
all litigants in the courts of this state entitled to trial by jury
shall have the right to grand and petit juries selected at random
from a fair cross-section of the community in the county or other
governmental subdivision wherein the court convenes; and that all
eligible citizens shall have the opportunity to serve on grand
and petit juries in the courts of this state, and shall have an
obligation to serve when summoned for that purpose, unless excused.

By denying the citizens of this state a say in whether a criminal
case is heard by a jury infringes upon the public's right to serve
on the jury and to have criminal matters determined by a jury of
eligible citizens. This legislation provides the People in the
State of New York that say through the district attorney, by giving
the district attorney, by giving the district attorney the power
to disapprove the defendant's waiver of a jury trial.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009: A.2054


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately upon becoming law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4745

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 18, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  O'MARA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation  to  waivers  of
  jury trials

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 320.10 of the  criminal  procedure
law is amended to read as follows:
  2.  Such waiver must be in writing and must be signed by the defendant
in  person  in  open  court  in  the presence of the court, and with the
approval of the court[. The] AND THE CONSENT OF THE  DISTRICT  ATTORNEY.
IF  THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY CONSENTS TO THE WAIVER, THE court must approve
the execution and submission of such waiver unless it determines that it
is tendered as a stratagem to procure an otherwise impermissible  proce-
dural  advantage  or that the defendant is not fully aware of the conse-
quences of the choice he is making.  If the court disapproves the  waiv-
er, it must state upon the record its reasons for such disapproval.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.





 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09717-01-1

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.