RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: City Council of Hialeah
DOCKET NO.: 91-6194
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
CITATION: 506 US 255 (1993)
ARGUED: Nov 09, 1992
DECIDED: Jan 13, 1993
Mark D. Nyvold - on behalf of the Petitioner
Richard H. Seamon - on behalf of the Respondent
Facts of the case
Media for Crosby v. United StatesAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 09, 1992 in Crosby v. United States
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 13, 1993 in Crosby v. United States
William H. Rehnquist:
The opinion of the Court in No. 91-6194, Crosby against the United States will be announced by Justice Blackmun.
Harry A. Blackmun:
This case comes to us from the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
The petitioner Crosby failed to appear at the beginning of his federal criminal trial.
He had been present at various preliminary proceedings.
The District Court permitted the trial to go on in his absence and he was convicted and subsequently arrested and sentenced.
He argued that the trial was prohibited by Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and this provides that a defendant must be present at every trial stage "except as otherwise provided" by the Rule.
The Rule, however, lists situations in which a right to be present maybe waived including when a defendant "initially present" is voluntarily absent thereafter.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.
In an opinion filed with the Clerk today, we reverse.
We conclude that the Rule clearly indicates that the situations in which the trial may proceed without the defendant is exclusive.
The decision is unanimous.