Judge orders man's mouth taped shut during sentencing

Judge orders man's mouth taped shut during sentencing

Judge orders man's mouth taped shut during sentencing

- A man refused to stop talking during his sentencing so the judge had the man's mouth taped shut. He not only kept interrupting the judge, but also his own lawyer.

When Williams tried to continue talking through the first tape, a second was added, and the matter proceeded.

A retrial was then stalled after Williams cut his ankle tag and fled to Nebraska before being rearrested and sent back to court.

"Everybody has the right to go on the record with my court reporter".

When Williams continued to defy the judge's orders, Russo ordered his mouth to be taped shut. "But more than not, he continued to speak over me and others in the courtroom".

"I'm going to tape it, and I'll unzip it when I want you to talk", he said.

A black man was forced to have his mouth taped over because the judge presiding over his court case wanted to stop him from talking. Williams was convicted last December in an armed robbery case. Shut your mouth, and I'll tell you when you can talk. Williams says he plans to appeal his sentence. "This judge should be disbarred", said a third commenter. Williams complained about authorities removing his possessions from his cell, and just meeting his attorney "the other day", but Russo said this was brought up at the wrong time.

Russo claimed his actions were legal, with a few cases supporting the notion. The Miami Herald noted the 1970 case IL v. Allen, where it was ruled that defendants do not have the right to be present at their trials.

Judge Russo, who was sentencing Williams over charges including aggravated robbery, kidnap and theft, eventually lost his patience and ordered officers to gag him.

The ACLU of OH did not immediately respond to a request from McClatchy for comment on Williams' case.

In the 1970 case IL v. Allen, the justices unanimously decided that defendants do not have an absolute right to even be present at their trial, let alone speak at it.

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