BALDWIN V. NEW YORK, 399 U. S. 66 (1970)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Baldwin v. New York, 399 U.S. 66 (1970)

Baldwin v. New York

No. 188

Argued December 9, 1969

Decided June 22, 1970

399 U.S. 66


Appellant was charged with a misdemeanor in the New York City Criminal Court. Under § 40 of the New York City Criminal Court Act all trials in that court are without a jury. Appellant's motion for a jury trial was denied, he was convicted, and given the maximum sentence of a year's imprisonment. The highest state court affirmed, rejecting appellant's contention that § 40 was unconstitutional.

Held: The judgment is reversed. Pp. 399 U. S. 67-76.

24 N.Y.2d 207, 247 N.E.2d 260, reversed.

MR. JUSTICE WHITE, joined by MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN and MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, concluded that defendants accused of serious crimes must, under the Sixth Amendment, as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, be afforded the right to trial by jury, Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145, and though "petty crimes" may be tried without a jury, no offense can be deemed "petty" for purposes of the right to trial by jury where imprisonment for more than six months is authorized. Pp. 399 U. S. 68-74.

MR. JUSTICE BLACK, joined by MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, concluded that the constitutional guarantee of the right to trial by jury applies to "all crimes," and not just to those crimes deemed to be "serious." Pp. 399 U. S. 74-76.

Page 399 U. S. 67

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