United States v. Sanchez-Gomez, — F.3d —, 2017 WL 2346995 (9th Cir. May 31, 2017): Shackling of defendant in pretrial proceedings must be justified by individualized finding of compelling need
Harry Hunks: ‘Tis vile to be a baited bear, my friend/I’ faith it seems our woes shall never end.
Sackerson: We suffer not alone, my ursine pal/Think of those poor folks in the S.D. Cal.
Harry Hunks: Wait – what?
What is stranger, do you suppose: the fact that the first people ever to see Shakespeare’s plays also got a kick out of seeing a bear on a chain being whipped – or the fact that in certain high-volume federal districts, the spectacle of presumed-innocent defendants being paraded in and out of courtrooms in five-point restraints once became so perfectly routine that judges failed to exercise any meaningful discretion as to its appropriateness, even when challenged?
The question is moot: The former is a matter for historians of Elizabethan England, and the latter has just been addressed by a remarkable en banc decision from the Ninth Circuit. Continue reading →