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The Decline of Jury Trials in Criminal Cases - Litigation News

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Litigation News

Posted on: Apr 8, 2021

Shared by Tim Devereux, Wagner Reese LLP

Jury trial have been on the decline in civil cases for some time and now the trend appears to be extending to criminal matters as well. According to the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the decline in criminal jury trials is being driven, in part, by “coercive” prosecution policies that result in plea agreements rather that jury trials. This adversely impacts the constitutional rights of criminal defendants.

In these instances, a criminal defendants face significantly harsher sentences for contesting and litigating the charges against them.

According to a report entitled "The New York State Trial Penalty: The Constitutional Right to Trial Under Attack," "This trial penalty has fundamentally transformed the criminal legal system into a plea system in which trials are nearly extinct."

According to the report, the number of criminal trials in the state has dropped 61 percent since 1990. Read more from Law360 here.

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