Killer’s conviction thrown out because his mother couldn’t find a seat in court during his trial
Some judges are really really really dumb. A man who was found guilty of shooting dead a rival over a gambling dispute has had his conviction overturned because his mother couldn’t find a seat during jury selection, according to reports.
The bizarre ruling means that Daniel Floyd, 23, who was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for killing Leon Hill, a young dad, in Brooklyn, New York in March 2008, is about to start a second trial. His conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeals on the technicality in April 2013.
The court ruled that because his mother, 41-year-old Melissa Floyd, was unable to find a seat in the courtroom, a retrial was needed because it could not be deemed a public trial, the New York Post reported. It said that Floyd’s mother ‘has an absolute right to be present’ and defendants ‘have an absolute right to a “public trial”.’ Overcrowding meant that the courtroom had been closed.
‘This violation… requires a new trial,’ the judges ruled, the Post reported. Jurors who had convicted Floyd were shocked.
‘What difference would it have made to the jury selection if she had been in the courtroom?’ one male juror asked.
The mother of the victim, Linda Dixon Hill, told the Post that the overturned verdict was ‘frustrating’.
Floyd was previously convicted of shooting her son Leon, whose daughter was just four months old at the time, in March 2008. The two men had been arguing about money in a dice game before Floyd left the room and returned with a gun 20 minutes later, according to court papers. He allegedly shot Hill in the neck, killing him. Floyd was in court on Monday for a pre-retrial hearing and his mother attended – getting a seat this time. She did not comment as she left the court. He will be back in court on September 12. He has remained incarcerated despite his conviction being thrown out.
A ridiculous ruling since Daniel Floyd was on trial, not his friend, girlfriend or even his mommy. I wonder how many stupid decisions like these are made by judges,