Criminal defendants’ right to a jury is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and in the Minnesota Constitution. If the criminal defendant has a constitutionally protected right to a jury before his peers, does he also have the constitutional right to waive the jury trial? Or can the prosecution insist on a jury?
Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a criminal defendant’s right to a jury trial also entitles him to waive the right over a prosecutor’s objection.
The case arises in the context of a defendant who likes his odds before Hennepin County District Court Judge Stephen Aldrich (and the prosecution, correspondingly, is not happy with the prospect of trying the case before Judge Aldrich) (Star Tribune article here).