Waiver of jury trial
The vast majority of US criminal cases are not concluded with a jury verdict, but rather by plea bargain. Both prosecutors and defendants often have a strong interest in resolving the criminal case by negotiation resulting in a plea bargain. If the defendant waives a jury trial, a bench trial is held. In United States Federal courts, there is no absolute right to waive a jury trial. Per Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(a), only if the prosecution and the court consent may a defendant waive a jury trial. However, most states give the defendant the absolute right to waive a jury trial. Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It is the body of rules that regulates social conduct that proscribes threatening, harming, or otherwise endangering the health, safety, and moral welfare of people. Criminal law also sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who violate these laws. Criminal law differs from civil law, whose emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation than on punishment. The first civilizations generally did not distinguish between civil law and criminal law. The important elements are mens rea and actus reus. The first written codes of law were designed by the Sumerians. Around 2100-2050 BC Ur-Nammu, the Neo-Sumerian king of Ur, enacted the oldest written legal code whose text has been discovered: the Code of Ur-Nammu although an earlier code of Urukagina of Lagash ( 2380-2360 BC ) is also known to have existed. Another important early code was the Code Hammurabi, which formed the core of Babylonian law. These early legal codes did not separate penal and civil laws. Of he early criminal laws of Ancient Greece only fragments survive, e.g. those of Solon and Draco. The Old Bailey in London (in 1808) was the venue for more than 100,000 criminal trials between 1674 and 1834, including all death penalty cases. The similarly significant Commentaries of Gaius on the Twelve Tables also conflated the civil and criminal aspects, treating theft or furtum as a tort. Assault and violent robbery were analogized to trespass as to property. Breach of such laws created an obligation of law or vinculum juris discharged by payment of monetary compensation or damages. The criminal law of imperial Rome is collected in Books 47-48 of the Digest. After the revival of Roman law in the 12th century, sixth-century Roman classifications and jurisprudence provided the foundations of the distinction between criminal and civil law in European law from then until the present time. The first signs of the modern distinction between crimes and civil matters emerged during the Norman Invasion of England. The special notion of criminal penalty, at least concerning Europe, arose in Spanish Late Scolasticism (see Alfonso de Castro), when the theological notion of God's penalty (poena aeterna) that was inflicted solely for a guilty mind, became transfused into canon law first and, finally, to secular criminal law. The development of the state dispensing justice in a court clearly emerged in the eighteenth century when European countries began maintaining police services. From this point, criminal law had formalized the mechanisms for enforcement, which allowed for its development as a discernible entity.