senate Bill S3294

Relates to waivers of jury trials

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Bill Status


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

  • 31 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Relates to waivers of jury trials.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S3294
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง320.10, CP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S4745
2009-2010: A2054
2007-2008: A11294

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3294

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 proce-
dure 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 defend-
ant'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,
390 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 eligi-
ble 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 citi-
zens. 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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3294

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

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.
                                                           LBD08530-01-3

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