The most serious criminal cases are always tried by
judge and jury; and in all but the least serious cases, the defendant
can choose to be tried by judge and jury or by a judge alone. This, of
course, begs the question, what difference does it make? The fact is
that there are both advantages and disadvantages to being tried by a
jury rather than a judge alone.
Something for you to consider:
Before continuing, imagine for a moment that you have
been accused of a crime for which you can opt to be tried by a jury or
not. Review the information below, and then decide which sort of trial
would you likely opt for if you had the choice? Why?