Ruling: Sleeping judge not automatic reason for retrial
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court says a guilty ruling against a man accused of firearms charges shouldn’t be automatically reversed because the judge fell asleep during the first day of trial.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the high court on Wednesday rejected a legal interpretation by the lower Kansas Court of Appeals that granted a new trial to Daquantrius Johnson.
Justice Caleb Stegall wrote in the court’s opinion that there is no state precedent to justify a finding of structural error simply because a judge catnapped during the proceedings.
District Judge Benjamin Burgess acknowledged to the jury that he fell asleep but noted that no objections from attorneys were raised while he was out of commission.
The Supreme Court concluded that the trial judge’s slumber amounted to regrettable misconduct.
Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com