OHIO (USA): DEATH SENTENCE OVERTURNED
August 26, 2013: The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned 2-1 the death sentence of John Drummond, 36, Black, saying he was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial when a judge cleared the courtroom during testimony.
Drummond was convicted in 2004 of aggravated murder for the slaying of a three months old baby, Jiyen Dent Jr., in a drive-by shooting. Drummond was a gang member who had meant to kill Jiyen Dent Sr., firing 11 shots with an assault rifle into Dent's home in 2003.
The judge said during the trial that he was closing the courtroom during some testimony because there had been disturbances involving spectators, and that some witnesses felt threatened. The judges said although the courtroom was closed only for some testimony, they had "no means to order that a small portion of Drummond's trial be redone. Thus, the most appropriate remedy is a new trial." (Source: Associated Press, 26/08/2013)