Court slaps down judges for ignoring order regarding shackling prisoners

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media via The Daily Courier

A appeals court on Friday slapped down Arizona federal judges for ignoring their order limiting when prisoners can be shackled.

In an often sharply worded ruling, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blasted trial judges handling criminal cases for refusing to decide on a case-by-case basis when a pre-trial detainee actually needs to be in chains when brought into court. The appellate judges said that is directly contrary to a published — and precedent setting — opinion they issued just three months ago.

The appellate court acknowledged they had agreed to stay that order to allow federal prosecutors to appeal. But they said that did not mean trial judges could automatically continue to ignore claims by defendants that there was no legitimate reason for them to be shackled.

There was no immediate response from federal prosecutors who had fought the order.


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