Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
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Rules Governing the
Superior Court of the Virgin Islands

Rule 124. Presence of the defendant

The defendant shall be present at every stage of the trial and at the imposition of sentence. A corporation shall appear by a licensed attorney at law for all purposes. The defendant's presence is not required at a reduction of sentence.

Case Notes

Construction

Review

Construction

Defendant's removal from courtroom during reading of verdict and polling of jury constituted harmless error, and thus trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion for new trial, where trial judge found that defendant had failed to show how fundamental fairness was thwarted by his brief absence from proceedings, and that there was no longer any threat of prejudice to defendant because jury had completed deliberations and was in process of returning verdict when defendant's outburst prompted his removal from courtroom. Government of V.I. v. Kidd, D.C.V.I. 1999, 42 V.I. 153, 79 F. Supp. 2d 566.

Review

There was no plain error in trial judge's ruling that, by failing to contemporaneously object to his removal from courtroom, defendant failed to preserve issue for appeal. Government of V.I. v. Kidd, D.C.V.I. 1999, 42 V.I. 153, 79 F. Supp. 2d 566.

Violation of a criminal defendant's right to be present at all stages of trial may constitute harmless error if reviewing court determines beyond a reasonable doubt that error did not influence verdict. Government of V.I. v. Kidd, D.C.V.I. 1999, 42 V.I. 153, 79 F. Supp. 2d 566.

Cited

Government of the Virgin Islands v. Boynes, 2003 V.I. LEXIS 5, 45 V.I. 195 (Terr. Ct. St. T. and St. J. Apr. 9, 2003).

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