Louisiana Bench Trial, Amendment 10 (2010)

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Louisiana Constitution
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IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIV
A Louisiana Bench Trial, Amendment 10, also known as Act 1053, was on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.

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.[1]

The amendment was proposed by representative Jack Montoucet.[1]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Louisiana Amendment 10 (2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 621,345 55%
No507,29345%

Official results via Louisiana Elections Division.

Text of measure

The ballot text read as follows:[2]

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))

Support

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.[3]

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.[4]

Opponents

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.[5]

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.[6]

See also

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