This case involves questions about a defendant’s right to a public trial.
Some background: The circuit court removed Dhosi Ndina’s disruptive family members from the courtroom during a portion of his trial on charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Ndina had allegedly stabbed his nephew in the back at a family gathering in November 2002.
The trial court had entered a sequestration order and instructed the individuals involved in the disruption to remain silent. Disturbances recurred later in the trial, and the trial court ordered the exclusion of all family members except the mother. The defendant did not object to the exclusion or dispute the court’s observations.
The trial court concluded that the exclusion of disruptive family members did violate the defendant’s right to a public trial. The Court of Appeals [2007 WI App 268] concluded that the only context in which the defendant’s claim of a violation of his constitutional right to a public trial could be considered was in an ineffective assistance of counsel claim.
A decision by the Supreme Court could determine what kind of showing is necessary to establish a waiver of the fundamental right to a public trial. From Milwaukee County.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has granted review in this case. (2007AP5-CR)