Thursday, March 17, 2005

Women's Bracelets

Rachel Lucas assaults a female officer (if you can call her the latter). Meanwhile, Ann Coulter says the same thing with much more empirical evidence, though not with much less vitriol.

Meanwhile, Doug Powers questions why he wasn't wearing handcuffs:

"In Atlanta, Brian Nichols, 6 feet tall and a couple hundred pounds, was being escorted by a female officer, without cuffs, into court for his rape trial. ...
"Why wasn't he wearing handcuffs? Because 'studies' have shown that jurors are 'unfairly influenced' when a person on trial is wearing handcuffs. ...
"Quite often, the level of stupidity in political correctness is so high that it's comical. This time, it's anything but. When PC strikes the college campus, young minds are poisoned. When PC strikes the public sector, including the courtroom, people can get killed. ...
"Leave it to the bearers of political correctness to remove the cuffs from criminals, and tie the hands of everybody else. ...
"Brian Nichols wasn't handcuffed, and he's killed people as a result. ... Brian Nichols now faces the death penalty, instead of 20 or so years for the original crime, and four people are dead. Would making him wear handcuffs to, in, and from court have been better for him, or worse for him?
"PC do-gooders assisted Brian Nichols in ruining what was left of his life, and gave him the means to destroy many others — all in the name of 'fairness.' I'm sure the families of the victims will thank them for caring."


BTW: How this guy got a WorldNetDaily column and a book deal, yet has the same blog traffic as I do, is beyond me. /envy

However, in light of this article, the handcuff controversy appears to be moot:

In a federal case in Atlanta in the late 1990s, drapes around the defense table were used, with court approval, to conceal the shackles on a defendant accused of killing a prison guard. Similarly, stun belts can be worn under defendants' clothes - although the devices have still been cited as grounds for appeal.


There's a dozen ways you could physically restrain a defendant without any prejudicial effect.

However, consider the four possible scenarios:

  • A passive, handcuffed defendant: The defendant is prejudiced and unfairly maligned in front of the jury.

  • A belligerent, handcuffed defendant: The defendant is not prejudiced or unfairly maligned; he really is a belligerant person who needs to be restrained.

  • A belligerent, unhandcuffed defendant: The defendant is not prejudiced or unfairly maligned when he lashes out in court; he really is a belligerent person who would do the unthinkable.

  • A passive, unhandcuffed defendant: No prejudice.

    Thus handcuffs should be a no-no only when the defendant gives no impression of being a pugnacious person. I don't see why this fact can't be fairly determined by a bench ruling. The person wearing the handcuffs--and not the cuffs themselves--should determine whether they should be worn.


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