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Criminal Procedure; Right to be present at trial

Criminal Procedure; Right to be present at trial

A circuit court’s decision to exclude the defendant from in-chambers meetings with the jurors did not deprive the defendant of a fair and just hearing.

“We hold that the circuit court’s decision to exclude Alexander from the in-chambers meetings with the jurors did not deprive Alexander of a fair and just hearing. As the United States Supreme Court has outlined, the factors a trial court should consider in determining whether a defendant’s presence is required to ensure a fair and just hearing include whether the defendant could meaningfully participate, whether he would gain anything by attending, and whether the presence of the defendant would be counterproductive. United States v. Gagnon, 470 U.S. 522, 527 (1985) (per curiam). Alexander would not have been able to contribute anything to the circuit court’s inquiry of the jurors, and may in fact have intimidated them if he had been present. Additionally, both of Alexander’s attorneys were present at the in-chambers meetings. Alexander’s absence thus did not violate his constitutional right to be present at his trial.”

Affirmed.

2011AP394-CR State v. Alexander

Gableman, J.

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