When Can a Defendant Waive Their Right to a Jury Trial?
Most of us know that there is a fundamental right to a jury trial. However, there is also a right to waive a jury trial. The case of Commonwealth v. Gebo is pending before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and involves a defendant who wanted to waive her right to a jury on the day of trial.
In April of 2017, Homer Gebo was watching the news and drinking coffee in his home. His wife, the defendant, went into the kitchen. A fight ensued between them, and the defendant picked up a plastic chair and hit Mr. Gebo’s arm. Mr. Gebo grabbed the chair and threw it. The defendant then hit Mr. Gebo in the head with a ladle. He passed out for 10-12 seconds and then awoke. Confused, Mr. Gebo asked what had happened and why the defendant hit him. She told him that he had a heart attack.