Judge Allows for Appeal of Conviction in Byron Smith Case to Continue

Judge Allows for Appeal of Conviction in Byron Smith Case to Continue Photo: KSTP/File

August 06, 2018 09:50 PM

A federal judge has granted a central Minnesota homeowner who killed two teenagers who broke into his home the opportunity to appeal a Minnesota Supreme Court decision to uphold his conviction, according to court records.

Byron Smith of Little Falls argued that his constitutional rights were violated when part of his trial was closed to the public.


RELATED: Minnesota Homeowner Who Killed 2 Teens Asks for Release

The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected that argument and others on appeal.

On Friday, a federal judge denied to overturn the state's Supreme Court's decision but issued a certificate of appealability. 

In his ruling, the judge said Minnesota has a "disturbing trend" of restricting public access to criminal trials. 

RELATED: Byron Smith's Attorney Argues Trail Was Unfair

The judge's ruling added, "(Smith) also has shown that reasonable jurists would find the issues raised in habeas petition debatable, that some other court could resolve the issues differently, and that the issues deserve further proceedings."

Smith has 30 days to file his appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Ben Rodgers

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