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Monday, August 08, 2016

THE DISAPPEARING CRIMINAL JURY TRIAL

In the EDNY and SDNY federal criminal jury trials are disappearing. Much is the same around other districts in the nation. 

We don't know the stats, but it seems we try a decent amount here in the SDFL. 

However, as long as congress enacts minimum mandatory prison sentences, puts the almost exclusive power of waiver of those sentences in the hands on inexperienced prosecutors (don't email me with claptrap about safety valve), criminal jury trials will continue to fall. And while this NY Times article quotes several distinguished judges and former judges in New York decrying the disappearance of jury trials, as long as judges impose a trial tax and tolerate prosecutors seeking enhanced sentences based on a defendant having the audacity to exercise their right to trial by jury, this trend will continue. 

See you in court, picking six or twelve. Bring it on.

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