Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Davis

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

July 9, 2014

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
JOHNNY R. DAVIS, JR., Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF McDONALD COUNTY. Honorable John R. LePage, Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

For Appellant: Emmett D. Queener.

For Respondent: Chris Koster and Karen L. Kramer.

DANIEL E. SCOTT, J. -- OPINION AUTHOR. WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., C.J., P.J. -- CONCURS. JEFFREY W. BATES, J. -- CONCURS.

OPINION

DANIEL E. SCOTT, J.

REVERSED AND REMANDED

Johnny Davis appeals his convictions for kidnapping and first-degree assault. He complains, in part, that closing the courtroom during voir dire violated his right to a public trial. We agree.

Thirty years ago in Waller v. Georgia, 467 U.S. 39, 45-48, 104 S.Ct. 2210, 81 L.Ed.2d 31 (1984), the Supreme Court affirmed that public criminal trial guarantees extended to voir dire and pretrial hearings, and described a four-part test for courts to assure that any " rare" closure would pass constitutional muster.

Page 550

Four years ago, reiterating that " Waller provided standards for courts to apply before excluding the public from any stage of a criminal trial," the Court reversed a conviction because the trial judge, citing limited space, closed voir dire to the public without considering all reasonable alternatives. Presley v. Georgia, 558 U.S. 209, 213-16, 130 S.Ct. 721, 175 L.Ed.2d 675 (2010).

Last year, in a case " similar to Presley," this court found " that the trial court did not follow the procedure necessary to close a courtroom to the public during voir dire ." State v. Salazar, 414 S.W.3d 606, 613 (Mo.App. 2013). We declined to reverse only because the record failed to show that anyone " was actually prevented from attending voir dire by the trial court's actions." Id. That is not true in this case. We reverse and remand.[1]

Constitutional Principles

The Sixth Amendment right to a public trial extends to voir dire. Presley, 558 U.S. at 213. It may yield to other interests in " rare" instances, such as a need to protect sensitive information, but " the balance of interests must be struck ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.