In State v. Nance, the Supreme Court of Nebraska, over the dissent of Justice McCown, held that two or more separate criminal offenses may be joined in the same information and indictment, and tried in the same proceeding when the offenses charged are of the "same or similar character." Although the defendant in Nance moved for severance of the offenses, the supreme court held that the trial court had complete discretion in deciding whether to grant or deny such a motion absent a showing of "actual" prejudice to the defendant. In applying such a strict rule on severance, the supreme court has given Nebraska trial courts even broader discretion in trying criminal cases, at the expense of the defendant's right to a fair and impartial trial. This Note discusses the impact of Nance upon the criminal process and explores the policies that militate against allowing such broad discretion in joinder cases.
Joinder of Criminal Offenses in Nebraska: Judicial Discretion v. Fair and Impartial Trial: State v. Nance, 197 Neb. 95, 246 N.W.2d 868 (1976),
56 Neb. L. Rev. 399
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