Re: news...

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 22:24:36 MDT

>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
> > can certainly influence that determination by his evidentiary rulings
> > 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.

>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

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.

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.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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