Question on jury trials could soon reach NC voters
RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina voters could decide next year whether some defendants should be given the option to waive their right to a jury trial.
The legislature has given its final approval for a question on the November 2014 ballot to consider an exception to the state’s constitutional requirement that every criminal defendant be allowed a trial and convicted by a unanimous jury.
The Senate agreed Tuesday to minor changes by the House to a bill to allow a defendant to be tried in Superior Court by a judge in non-capital cases. Such waivers are already allowed in federal courts and most states.
Constitutional amendments usually aren’t subject to a governor’s veto but Gov. Pat McCrory will still receive the bill because it contains proposed statutory changes if voters approve the question.
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