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Louisiana Bench Trial, Amendment 10 (2010)
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The amendment proposed allowing judges or prosecutors of a criminal's case to have the final say on whether or not the accused could forgo a jury trial.
- See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
|Louisiana Amendment 10 (2010)|
Official results via Louisiana Elections Division.
Text of measure
The ballot text read as follows:
To permit criminal defendants, except in capital cases, to waive their right to a trial by jury no later than forty-five days prior to the trial date. (Amends Article I, Section 17(A))
Those in favor of the measure said it would cut down the time spent by the judiciary system in long trials. Most members of the Louisiana District Attorney Association supported the measure.
Other supporters noted that the measure would reign in accused people from changing their minds about having a jury trial which can in turn bog down the system and waste state officials' time.
Those in opposition to the measure noted the possibility of the district attorney using the system to force cases through and take away rights of defendants. It was also noted that no money would be saved if this was approved. The judiciary system they said would be not be affected.
Path to the ballot
In order to qualify for the ballot the proposed measure required the approval of 2/3rds of the members of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature. It passed through the Louisiana House of Representatives with a vote of 87 in favor and 4 against. It required Senate approval of a minimum of 26 of 39 votes. Just prior to the June 21, 2010 end of the session, the Senate approved the measure thus referring it to the ballot.
- Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council, Guide to November Amendments
- HB 940 full text
- Louisiana Constitutional Amendments for consideration in 2010 (dead link)
- The Times-Picayune, "Bench trial amendment for criminal defendants moves to full Senate," May 26, 2010
- Louisiana Legislature, "Constitutional Amendments for consideration in 2010 (Page 8)," accessed August 11, 2010 (dead link)
- The Times-Picayune, "Proposed constitutional amendment dealing with criminal trials outlined," October 19, 2010
- KPLC 7, "Amendment Ten limits jury trial waivers," October 26, 2010
- Houma Today, "Defendants may lose certain rights under amendment," October 18, 2010
- The Times-Picayune, "Voters to weigh in on a dozen constitutional amendment proposals this fall," June 22, 2010
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