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Criminal Procedure keyed to Kamisar
Weaver v. Masshachusetts
Citation:582 U.S. __, 137 S.Ct. 1899, 198 L.Ed.2d (2017)
Weaver was indicted for first-degree murder and unlicensed possession of a handgun. During jury selection, the pool of potential jurors exceeded the number of seats available in the courtroom. An officer of the court excluded members of the public who were not potential jurors from entering the courtroom. Weaver’s mother and her minister were turned away, and his mother informed defense counsel about the closure. Counsel believed courtroom closure for jury selection was constitutional, so he did not discuss the matter with Weaver, inform him of his right to a public trial, or object to the closure.
Five years later, Weaver filed a motion for a new trial in Massachusetts state court, arguing his attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to object to the courtroom closure. Weaver did not object at trial nor did he raise the issue on direct appeal.
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