"What the government gives, it must first take away." -- John Strider Coleman

Speciale Urges 'No' Vote on NC Constitutional Amendment

Speciale urges ‘no’ vote on N.C. constitutional amendment
By Sue Book, Sun Journal Staff
Published: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 17:37 PM.
A proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution scheduled to be on the 2014 November election ballot would allow a person to forgo their right to a Superior Court trial by jury. 

State Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, was the only N.C. House member to vote against it, and now keeping it from being approved by voters has become a personal project from him.
“Other than getting re-elected, my mission in life from now until then is to persuade people to vote against this,” Speciale said in a telephone interview and to a group gathered for the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association meeting in New Bern last week.
The District 3 representative was not present for a legislative roundtable discussion between other delegation members and the Craven County Board of Commissioners last Monday because he was invited to meet then with N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Roy Cooper in Raleigh on the proposed amendment’s ballot wording.
“To me, this is a huge, huge, liberty error,” Speciale said. “That’s why I voted against it.”
During their meeting, Speciale, Marshall and Cooper, along with aides, “sat there and wrote how to explain it in the simplest terms so it would be clearly understood,” he said.
The question on the ballot, for which voters will pick “yes” or “no,” will read: “Constitutional amendment providing that a person accused of any criminal offense for which the state is not seeking a sentence of death in Superior Court may, in writing or on the record in court and with the consent of the trial judge, waive the person’s right to a trial by jury.”
He said “The title of the bill SB399 is ‘An act to amend the constitution to provide that a person accused of any criminal offense in Superior Court for which the state is not seeking a sentence of death may waive the right to trial by jury and instead be tried by a judge.’”
It was introduced March 21, 2013, by four-term District 31 Sen. Peter S. Brunstetter, R-Forsyth, who resigned in December to become executive vice president and chief legal counsel for Novant Health in Winston-Salem. Speciale said, “The government is already taking our rights away; the last thing we need to do is give them up willingly. There is nothing good about it for the American citizen. A person could be coerced into signing by being held in nastier circumstances or being told that ‘if you don’t sign, a jury is going to convict you and send you a way for a long time.’”
He added: “This was one of the last bills passed in a flurry of bills and I’ve talked to people at a couple of organizations — Civitas and John Locke Foundation — who weren’t aware of it. They are looking at it and will get back to me. I just want to get word out that this is coming.”
Sue Book can be reached at 252-635-5665 or sue.book@newbernsj.com. Follow her on Twitter@SueJBook.

HB 870 would require closed sessions to be recorded. That's a good thing. News Articles 2018 Town Halls

{ QR Code for Mobile Phones }
Home  |  Contact  |  Login             Paid for by the Speciale for NC House Campaign             Copyright © 2018
Developed by Symbiotic Networks, Inc.             Powered by Symbiotic Publisher