CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL LAW: PLACING A SHERIFF'S DEPUTY IN A CHAIR NEXT TO A TESTIFYING DEFENDANT (OUTRAGEOUS!)
PLACING A SHERIFF'S DEPUTY IN A CHAIR NEXT TO A TESTIFYING DEFENDANT
This was an outrage of the week in 2007, and it's an outrage of this week as well. There was no claim that the defefendant had been disruptive or presented any sort of danger.
Nevertheless, the Alameda County Sheriff had a policy that when in-custody defendants testify, a sheriff's deputy pulls up a chair next to the defendant in the witness box, and sits there throughout the defendant's testimony.
Incredibly, the California Supreme Court hold that this wasn't shackling and was just fine, because, get this, it's not inherently prejudicial. And maybe the jurors thought
that the bailiff was there to protect the defendant. From the jurors?
People v. Stevens; 2009 DJ DAR 15705; DJ, 11/6/09; Cal. Supremes