Starke County Prosecutor, Nicholas Bourff, is in his third month on the job and has already made a suggestion to help speed up C and D Felony proceedings.
“One of the proposals I’ve made is to try, even if it’s with the C and D Felonies, to see if a case is going ahead to trial, and we know it will, to see if we could get a bench trial set, which just involves the Judge, instead of a jury trial,” said Bourff. “The one major drawback there is that if a defendant wants a jury trial, he or she has that right. If the defendant agrees to a bench trial, then it would save thousands of dollars and it would shave off quite a bit of time as far as eliminating the need for jury selection. In my experience as a defense attorney, the majority of my clients would not have had a problem with going to a bench trial.”
As Bourff said, promoting bench trials over jury trials would speed up the proceedings, and save the County money.
“Even if we could do this two, three or four times a year, it would save thousands and it would speed some things up for us.”