Criminal Trials

ORS 136.001
Right to jury trial

  • waiver


The defendant and the state in all criminal prosecutions have the right to public trial by an impartial jury.


Both the defendant and the state may elect to waive trial by jury and consent to a trial by the judge of the court alone, provided that the election of the defendant is in writing and with the consent of the trial judge. [1973 c.836 §221; 1997 c.313 §21]

Notes of Decisions

The failure to object to an instruction that five of six jurors could reach a verdict constituted a waiver, even though verdicts by jury of less than twelve must usually be unanimous. State v. Robinson, 22 Or App 340, 539 P2d 164 (1975)

District Court rule, providing that failure to attend pretrial conference constituted waiver of jury trial, was insufficient to establish valid waiver where written request for jury trial had been made at arraignment and defendant had made no statement waiving right to jury. State v. Wiik, 31 Or App 571, 570 P2d 1021 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Where motion to withdraw waiver of jury trial was made on day of trial and was based on trial strategy only, motion was properly denied. State v. Villareall, 57 Or App 292, 644 P2d 614 (1982)

Where no formal, written waiver of jury trial executed by defendant appeared in trial court file, reversal of conviction and remand for new trial were required. State v. Milstead, 57 Or App 658, 646 P2d 63 (1982), Sup Ct review denied

Although attorney’s statements are normally binding on client, it would be improper to presume express, knowing waiver of consent to be tried without jury from defendant’s failure to object to attorney’s actions. State v. Cordray, 91 Or App 436, 755 P2d 735 (1988)

Lack of written waiver of trial by jury was error apparent on face of record warranting new trial. State v. Kendall, 96 Or App 735, 773 P2d 1362 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Where purpose of voir dire examination was investigation, not persuasion and defendant’s counsel chose not to use two opportunities to question juror fully about views on minorities and criminal justice system, defendant’s right to trial by impartial jury was not violated. State v. Nefstad, 309 Or 523, 789 P2d 1326 (1990)

Court refused to reverse conviction where defendant failed to execute written waiver of jury trial and rejected trial court’s offer to retry case to jury but sought “automatic reversal” after sentencing. State v. Lopez-Loaiza, 107 Or App 258, 812 P2d 1 (1991)

Oral waiver of defendant’s right to jury trial is not sufficient. State v. Huntley, 112 Or App 22, 827 P2d 918 (1992)

1997 amendments allowing state right to jury trial violate defendant’s right under section 11, Article I, Oregon Constitution, to waive jury trial. State v. Baker, 328 Or 355, 976 P2d 1132 (1999)

Where defendant signs jury waiver form and verbally informs court that signature indicates waiver of right to jury, failure to check box on form is not plain error that requires appellate court review. State v. Jeanty, 231 Or App 341, 218 P3d 174 (2009), Sup Ct review denied


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023