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Home / Opinions / Courts / Court of Appeals, Southern District / Criminal Law : Right To Public Trial – Full Courtroom – Juror Impartiality

Criminal Law : Right To Public Trial – Full Courtroom – Juror Impartiality

(1)Where a defendant argued that his right to a public trial was violated when the trial court essentially excluded the public from voir dire by filling all of the seats in the courtroom with venirepersons, the record did not show that any member of the public was actually prevented from attending voir dire and the defendant did not cite authority for his claim that there was a presumption that members of the public were turned away, so in a case of first impression the court finds that a new trial did not need to be ordered.

(2)Where a defendant challenged the impartiality of a juror in his murder trial, which involved his small child, a juror who was a teacher indicated at one point that she could “put that aside” and follow the law, so  the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to strike the juror, and any prejudice that might have resulted from an indirect reference to testimony by the defendant was cured by subsequent trial court instructions.

Judgment is affirmed.

State v. Salazar (MLW No. 65593/Case No. SD32032 – 23 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Burrell, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jasper County, Crane, J. (Karen Louise Kramer, Jefferson City, for respondent) (Craig Allan Johnston, Columbia, for appellant).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)