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  1. #1

    Default When Can You Pick Between a Judge and Jury Trial

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: tennessee - Does an individual have the right to choose either a trial by judge or trial by jury in criminal court? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,476

    Default Re: Judge or Jury

    Have you read the US Constitution lately?

    Sixth Amendment:

    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."


    You have the right to a trial by jury which implies that you may waive that right. And if you waive that right, what's left? Trial by judge, of course.

    PS: The Tennessee Constitution Section 6.

    "That the right of trial by jury shall be inviolate."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: When Can You Pick Between a Judge and Jury Trial

    For some very minor offenses there is no right to a jury under the federal constitution, although states can define the right more broadly. For offenses where there is a right to a jury, if requested, it is possible that the prosecutor will request a jury even if the defendant does not. I've seen cases where neither party requested a jury and the judge nonetheless impaneled an "advisory" jury.

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