Ruling finds jury trial right in Ariz. shoplifting cases

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A new state appellate court is expanding Arizonans' rights to jury trials in misdemeanor cases, ruling that additional shoplifting defendants are entitled to be judged by their fellow citizens instead of a judge.

A three-judge Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously Thursday in a case from Peoria that people charged with misdemeanor shoplifting by removal are entitled to jury trials.

The ruling says that's because there was an historical right to jury trials in larceny cases.

Shoplifting by removal is when a person takes an item from a display or another place in a store and then doesn't pay for it.

Another Court of Appeals panel ruled in 2009 that people charged with misdemeanor shoplifting by concealment also have a right to a jury trial.

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