Conviction Upheld Even Although Decide Fell Asleep at Trial


The Kansas Supreme Court docket upheld a person’s firearms convictions although the choose fell asleep in entrance of the jury on the primary day of the trial, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. The excessive court docket rejected a decrease court docket ruling that Daquantrius Johnson be granted retrial as a result of Decide Benjamin Burgess confessed to napping on the bench. Johnson obtained nationwide consideration in one other case when he was convicted of stealing the marriage ring off an unconscious lady’s finger as she lay dying in a Taco Bell drive-thru. Supreme Court docket Justice Caleb Stegall mentioned there was no precedent to justify a discovering of a “structural error” just because a choose catnapped throughout a trial. Structural errors are defects within the mechanism of a trial so egregious as to warrant fast reversal.

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Burgess famous no objections from attorneys had been raised whereas he was briefly out of fee. The Supreme Court docket described the trial choose’s slumber as regrettable misconduct and famous Johnson’s lawyer declined to request a mistrial when given the chance. The justices rejected an appellate court docket’s conclusion sleeping choose was the authorized equal to a choose who had bodily left the bench. “Identical to a driver who feels the overwhelming bodily want for sleep ought to instantly get off the highway,” Stegall wrote, “a accountable choose charged with overseeing a prison trial who feels the necessity for sleep, and may now not efficiently put it off, has a duty to name a halt to the proceedings.” The appeals court docket had mentioned, “Our residents count on a totally awake trial choose. How can a sleepy choose supervise something aside from his or her goals?”

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