This Note analyzes both the federal and various state standards as to what constitutes a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of trial by jury in capital cases. Through this analysis it will become apparent that the various standards among the different jurisdictions of a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver are marked with disparity. This Note also argues that the jury waiver statutes in many jurisdictions fail to provide enough information for the capital defendant to make a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of the right to trial by jury while cognizant of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences. This deficiency can be traced to the fact that most jury waiver statutes were formulated in the non-capital arena and fail to take into consideration the unique aspects of a death penalty proceeding. This Note then concludes with a proposal that ideally, or perhaps even quixotically, provides the capital defendant with enough information to make a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of the constitutional right to trial by jury.
Note, Jury Waiver in Capital Cases: An Assessment of the Voluntary, Knowing, and Intelligent Standard, 39 Clev. St. L. Rev. 605 (1991)