Shackling Defendants in court is a due process violation

Michael F. Morgan

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Criminal Defense Attorney

Contributor Level 12

Posted over 2 years ago. 1 helpful vote

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The problems with shackling a defendant in court.

As set forth in Kennedy v. Cardwell, the problems in shackling a defendant include: 1) Shackles may impair the defendant's mental faculties; 2) physical restraints may impede communication between the defendant and his lawyer; 3) shackles may detract from the dignity and decorum of the judicial proceedings; 4) physical restraints may be painful to the defendant. The danger inherent in imposing physical restraints is the possibility that the defendant may feel confused, frustrated, or embarrassed, thus impairing his mental faculties. Zygaldo v. Wainright.

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Conclusion

The U.S. Supreme Court in Illinois v. Allen stated that binding a defendant should be considered a last resort.

Additional Resources

www.washingtoncriminallawreview.com

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