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State v. Hazley

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

August 28, 2017

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Glenn Kevin Hazley, Appellant.

         Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CR-14-25709

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda M. Freyer, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Anders J. Erickson, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Kirk, Presiding Judge; Rodenberg, Judge; and Florey, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         Where the district court has offered an in-custody defendant the opportunity to wear street clothes at his trial, and the defendant appears at his court trial in jail clothes without objection or explanation on the record, the defendant's constitutional rights have not been violated.

          OPINION

          RODENBERG, JUDGE

         Appellant was convicted of third-degree burglary following a court trial. He argues that he is entitled to a new trial because his appearance in jail clothes during trial violated his due-process right to a fair trial under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and violated Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 26.03, subdivision 2(b). We affirm.

         FACTS

         Appellant was charged with third-degree burglary after he was discovered in a restricted area of a Macy's store placing merchandise for which he had not paid in a garbage bag. The day before his trial was scheduled to begin, the district court told appellant that he would "have to be out of [his] jail clothes" during the scheduled jury trial. The next day, appellant waived his right to a jury trial.

         The case was tried to the court the following day. Without objection or explanation on the record, appellant appeared at trial wearing identifiable jail clothes. Following the presentation of evidence and on review of written arguments by the parties, the district court found appellant guilty of third-degree burglary.

         This appeal followed.

         ISSUE

         Was it reversible error for the district court to permit appellant to wear ...


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