Brief nap leads to snore court ruling
Published 12/03/2016 | 03:21
A US appeal court has quashed a North Carolina man's conspiracy and racketeering convictions - because his lawyer slept through the trial.
Judges at the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said Nikita Mackey's sleepiness meant defendant Nicholas Ragin, who had been jailed for 30 years, was deprived of his constitutional right to a lawyer.
The ruling has set a precedent for federal cases in the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia. The decision says five of the 11 regional appeal courts have now ruled the same way on slumbering defence counsels.