HB 265 – Jury Trials (2011-2012)
Link to Bill:http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_HB_265
This bill authorizes prosecuting attorneys to demand a jury trial in a felony case, regardless of a defendant’s waiver of trial by jury or defendant’s objection.
Primary Sponsors:Rep. O’Brien (D), Rep. Slaby (R)
Secondary Sponsors:Rep. Amstutz (R), Rep. Blair (R), Rep. Blessing (R), Rep. Grossman (R), Rep. Huffman (R), Rep. Stebelton (R), Rep. Uecker (R)
Committee:Criminal Justice (H)
LSC Legislation Status:http://lsc.state.oh.us/coderev/hou129.nsf/House+Bill+Number/0265?OpenDocument
Our take on this bill:
Under current law, defendants are able to waive their right to a trial by jury in favor of a trial just before a judge. This option can aid a defendant make his case in a variety of circumstances, including cases that are very technical or complicated. The ACLU of Ohio is concerned that HB 265 will tip the balance of the trial against the defendant by putting an important aspect of the defense in the hands of the prosecution.