Issue: (1) Whether a jury view is evidentiary, and thus a critical stage of a criminal prosecution, requiring the presence of the defendant, and the assistance of counsel, under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, a question as to which state courts of last resort, as well as the federal circuits, are in conflict; and (2) whether, when a trial court’s erroneous evidentiary rulings result in the complete exclusion of the accused’s defense, the error can ever be declared harmless; or, in the alternative, whether the error in this case required reversal, alone or in combination with the trial court’s erroneous refusal to sever the petitioner’s trial from that of his co-defendant.
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