Oct 04, 2010 When courtrooms are too small for a criminal defendant’s family to witness jury selection
Some courtrooms are too small to provide seating for all potential jurors, let alone to provide seating for a criminal defendant’s family members. Recently, without the judge’s and lawyers’ knowledge, a sheriff’s deputy shut out a criminal defendant’s family from the jury selection proceedings in a serious co-defendant felony case in Baltimore City, Maryland. The courtroom was so small that even numerous potential jurors were left standing therein. Maryland’s intermediate appellate court affirmed the conviction, at least where the deputy sheriff’s barring of the defendant’s family members took place without the knowledge of the judge and the lawyers. Kelly v. Maryland, ___ Md. App. ___ (Oct. 4, 2010).