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Panel preps jury trial amendment for NC ballots

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A proposed change to North Carolina’s Constitution involving jury trials is on the ballot in November, so a state panel is meeting to write an explanation for voters.

The Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission planned to meet Monday in Raleigh. It’s preparing a background document explaining the question for voters that can be accessed at county election offices.

The actual language that will appear on the ballot was finalized by the General Assembly last summer.

If a majority of voters approve the change, criminal defendants not facing the death penalty would have the option to waive their right to a jury trial if the judge agrees. It would adjust the current constitutional requirement that such defendants be granted a trial and convicted by a unanimous jury.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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