Re: news...

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sat Apr 15 2000 - 13:16:50 MDT

Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
> >Zero Powers wrote:
> > > >From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
> > > >The judge is still free to
> > > >determine guilt
> > > >or innocence... so his hands aren't totally tied.
> > >
> > > Actually the determination of guilt is the job of the jury. But the
> >judge
> > > can certainly influence that determination by his evidentiary rulings
> >and
> > > such.
> >
> >In a plea bargain, the perp is obviously agreeing to plead guilty to
> >something, in which case, there obviously will be no jury involved.
> Yes, but the agreement is between the perp and the prosecuting attorney, not
> the judge.

They make the agreement, but it is up to the judge to accept it. He can
refuse the agreement and impose his own sentence on the guilty plea.

> >If
> >there is no plea bargain, yes there MAY be a jury if the perp wants one,
> >but they are not required, and the judge can set aside a jury's verdict
> >if he so chooses, so he does have a choice even in the event of a jury
> >trial.
> As you know, the perp has a constitutional right to a jury trial which, of
> course, he can waive. But since 90% of the judges are ex-prosecutors, it
> never happens. So, yes, in the unlikely event that a perp chooses to put
> his fate in the hands of the (usually "hanging") judge, then it is the judge
> that chooses to acquit or convict. But you are wrong about the judge being
> able to overturn the jury's verdict. In a criminal trial there is no
> provision for JNOV. That's only in civil court.

Wrong again. Do your research. Judges can and have set aside verdicts,
and they will also impose harsh or lenient sentences if they disagree
with the jury but not enough to throw out the conviction.

> Of course, that doesn't apply to appellate court where the court of appeals
> *can* overturn a guilty verdict, but even they can't acquit. The most they
> can do is grant a new trial.

And the judge in the case can declare a mistrial at any time as
well....or he can dismiss the case.

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