Frankly, I disagree with your Oct. 22 editorial “ Yes for trial choice.” This should not be passed just because other states have implemented it. It could cause many hidden problems within the legal system.
The purpose of the judicial system is not to save money or to keep up to speed with other states but to efficiently interpret and apply the law in situations of dispute. With this amendment, the system could be challenged.
In a Sept. 28 Point of view “ Whether to expand nonjury trials in N.C.,” Jeffrey B. Welty and Komal K. Patel clearly spelled out the risks of this amendment. These risks included more than just the “judge shopping” dilemma.
One of the most concerning risks is that well-connected defendants have notoriously gotten favorable treatment from judges. In Welty and Patel’s piece, a study was included that found the acquittal rate by juries to be 16 percent, while the acquittal rate by judges was 45 percent. This is not a small difference, and it should not be ignored, as it was in your editorial.
This new amendment would be unproductive in upholding the law. North Carolina should not be ignorant of these risks.
Sarah Jane Jensen, Chapel Hill