Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No waiver of jury trial

Lydia Krebs won in State v. Bowers, No. 100,805 (Kan. App. Sept. 25, 2009), reversing a Miami County DUI conviction. The issue, apparently not contested by the state, was that the record did not include a personal waiver of the right to jury trial:
The district court failed to advise Bowers of his right to a jury trial or to even raise the option. There was no discussion between Bowers and the court regarding the jury trial right he was waiving by proceeding to a bench trial. In fact, Bowers did not speak a word during the status hearing. There is nothing in the record to indicate he was aware of his right to a jury trial or had voluntarily and knowingly waived it.
I wonder why this is published, other than to remind attorneys of the requirement to have a personal waiver on the record (or in writing). I know that some jurisdictions may be a little more informal about this type of thing, but the appellate court is pretty good about enforcing the personal waiver requirement. See the previous case blogged about here.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on October 29, 2009.]

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