CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, December 11, 2006

SCOTUS: Victim Buttons Don't Deny Fair Trial

From  Today, in Carey v. Musladin, No. 05-785, the court held that a state court did not unreasonably apply  established federal law when it ruled that the wearing of buttons depicting a murder victim by members of the victim's family in front of the jury did not deny the defendant a fair trial. The court noted that while it has previously held that some government-sponsored practices, such as compelling an accused to wear jail garb in front of the jury, may infringe on fair trial rights, it has never directly dealt with whether conduct by private spectators such as the wearing of buttons or ribbons in the courtroom is potentially so prejudicial as to implicate those concerns.

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