Jones v. Murphy, No. 10-3997 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Petitioner appealed the denial of a writ of habeas corpus with respect to his 2004 Connecticut murder conviction. Petitioner argued that the state trial court's decision to exclude him from the courtroom violated his federal constitutional right to be present at trial and that police interrogation violated his Miranda rights. The court held that any error in excluding petitioner was harmless because he did not miss any critical stage of the trial as a result of that exclusion. Further, because the subsequent decision to continue petitioner's exclusion was attributable to his own violent conduct, the Connecticut Supreme Court reasonably applied United States Supreme Court precedent in upholding the trial court's decision. Petitioner's two claims of improper police procedure in his interrogation were also meritless. One claim misapprehended Supreme Court precedent; the other was never raised in state court and was thus unavailable for review in federal court.