The appellants challenge their convictions relating to a planned armed home invasion with the aim of stealing a large quantity of drugs. Because this case involved narcotics and firearms in a border town where violent, drug-related disputes are common, the judge was concerned that the close proximity of the defendants' families might chill jurors' responses during voir dire. The trial court's partial closure of voir dire did not jeopardize the defendants' right to a fair, public trial. The convictions are affirmed, two of the appellants' sentences are vacated and remanded for resentencing. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 11-41385, 01-30-2013.
United States v. Cervantes
February 4, 2013