The Supreme Court: Compulsory Jury Trial


Charged on 30 counts of using the U.S. mails to swindle amateur song writers, Mortimer Singer of Los Angeles sought to waive jury trial in a federal district court on the theory that he would do better if tried by a judge alone. The prosecutor refused. Found guilty by a jury, Singer got three years and a $4,250 fine. He appealed to the Supreme Court. Since the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to jury trial in federal criminal cases, he argued, it also guarantees the right to waiver.

Speaking for a unanimous court, Chief Justice Warren utterly...

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