AN ACT TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURE FOR WAIVER OF THE RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL IN CRIMINAL CASES IN SUPERIOR COURT. Enacted October 29, 2015. Effective October 1, 2015.
Summary date: Nov 5 2015 - View summary
Summary date: Sep 24 2015 - View summary
Conference committee substitute makes the following changes to the 5th edition.
Deletes the requirement in GS 15A-1201 that a trial judge must find that a revocation of a waiver of trial by jury is tendered in good faith.
Deletes the requirement in GS 15A-1201 that a court, upon request by any party, make specific findings of fact in a written decision or opinion to support the verdict.
Makes technical changes.
Summary date: Jul 23 2015 - View summary
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 4th edition.
Amends GS 15A-1201 to include certain hearings to determine aggravating factors under GS 15A-1340.16(a3) as matters of law and fact that a court will hear when a defendant waives the right to trial by jury.
Requires a jury trial when a court allows a motion for joinder of co-defendants unless all defendants waive the right to trial by jury or the court severs the case.
Allows a defendant to condition stipulation to waiving the right to a jury trial on each party's consent to the trial judge.
Requires the State to schedule a hearing in open court to determine whether the judge agrees to a defendant's notice of intent to waive the right to a jury trial. Requires that the judge who will actually preside over the trial be the judge who decides to grant or deny the defendant's request for a bench trial. The judge should address the defendant personally and determine whether the defendant understands the consequences of the decision to waive the right to a jury trial. The judge should likewise consider the arguments presented by both the defendant and the State regarding the decision to waive a jury trial.
Allows a defendant to revoke the waiver of a jury trial even after 10 business days if the trial judge finds that the revocation would not cause unreasonable hardship or delay to the State and that the revocation is tendered in good faith.
Requires the court, upon request of any party, to make specific, written findings of fact to support the verdict.
Makes technical changes.
Changes the effective date to October 1, 2015 (was, July 1, 2015).
Summary date: Apr 2 2015 - View summary
House amendments make the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Deletes the following language from proposed GS 15A-1201(c): "for a tentative trial date."
Amends proposed GS 15A-1201(c), appearing to intend, that after notice of waiver by the defense, the State can contact the judge scheduled to preside, and the defendant, in writing, to determine whether the judge agrees to hear that case without a jury (previously, did not require the defendant to be contacted). Adds language which gives a defendant the right to revoke a waiver to jury trial once within 10 business days of the defendant's initial decision if the defendant does so in open court with the State present, or in writing to both the State and the judge. Provides that the decision to revoke is final and binding.
Deletes language in proposed GS 15A-1201(c) that provided that if the trial judge decides a motion to suppress evidence under GS Chapter 15A, Article 53, then a motion to recuse the trial judge could be appropriate.
Summary date: Apr 1 2015 - View summary
House committee substitute to the 1st edition corrects statutory references.
Summary date: Mar 11 2015 - View summary
Enacts new GS 15A-1201(c), concerning the waiving of a jury trial by defendants for which the state is not seeking the death penalty, providing that a defendant that seeks to waive a jury trial pursuant to subsection (b) must give notice of intent to waive a jury trial by any of the following three specified methods: by a stipulation signed by both the state and the defendant and served any counsel for co-defendants, by filing a written notice of intent to waive a jury trial with the court and serving it on the state and any counsel for any co-defendants within the specified time limits, and by giving notice of intent to waive a jury trial on the record in open court by the earlier of either the time of arraignment or the calling of the calendar under GS 7A-749(b) or 7A-749.4(c). Provides that such waivers extend to the whole matter of law and fact, including all factors referred to in GS 20-179 and GS 15A-1340.16(a1). Allows the state, once given notice of the waiver, to contact the presiding judge to determine whether the judge agrees to waiving the jury trial. Provides that once waived and consented to by the judge, it can not be revoked if the judge determines that the revocation would cause unreasonable hardship or delay to the state. Provides that it may be appropriate to make a motion to recuse the trial judge if the trial judge decides any motions made by the defendant to suppress evidence pursuant to GS Chapter 15A, Article 53. Requires the court deciding such a motion to make written findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Enacts new GS 20-179(a3) and GS 15A-1340.16(a6), providing that when a defendant waives the right to a jury trial, pursuant to GS 15A-1201, the trial judge is required to make all findings that would be required of the jury.
Effective July 1, 2015, applying to defendants waiving their right to trial by jury on or after that date.