Friday, January 03, 2014

United States v. Dharni, No. 11-16438 (1-3-14) (Wallace with Fisher and Berzon). 
This habeas appeal concerns the right to a public trial, specifically, during voir dire.   Here, the trial court called in extra jurors because of vacation schedules.  The courtroom had limited seating, and so the court asked the family of the defendant and friends to vacate the pews until seats became available.  As potential jurors were dismissed, the court never informed the friends and family they could return.  The defendant never objected to what the court did.  Although the right to a public trial does cover voir dire, the 9th held that the closure was at most trivial, and did not violate the sixth amendment right to a public trial.  It would have been better if the court had not asked the family and friends to leave; or to inform them when they could return.  However, this did not require a new trial.  There also was no IAC for failure to object by defense counsel.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opinion in this case is severly flawed and in tension with both Presley and Waller... I hope this case is heard en banc or taken up on cert. by the Supreme Court!!

Thursday, January 09, 2014 5:35:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home