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New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - NYSACDL

New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - NYSACDL
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NYSACDL Files Amicus challenge to the Second Circuit’s “triviality exception”

NYSACDL and NACDL joined in a Petition for Rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which challenges as flawed the “triviality exception” to the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of the right to a fair trial. U.S. v. Gupta, 09-4738-cr.  The Second Circuit majority in Gupta applied the triviality exception in holding that the erroneous courtroom closure during voir dire was too insignificant to violate the Sixth Amendment’s public trial clause.  In Presley v. Georgia, 130 S. Ct. 721 (2010), however, the Supreme Court found a violation and reversed, without reviewing for triviality, based on a similarly erroneous voir dire closure – despite having the exception squarely before it.  It is argued now that the Second Circuit should now abandon the triviality exception to the right to a public trial.