The public is outraged after an Ohio Judge ordered a defendants mouth be taped shut for the remainder of his hearing. The Judge may have had his reasons, and the man certainly is no saint, but could this lead to the alleged criminal being set free over possible misconduct?
According to RWN, a Cuyahoga County judge is finding himself in hot water for his unusual methods of handling a defendant who refused to be silent in his courtroom recently drew national attention. Judge John Russo ordered a convicted robber to have his mouth taped shut during a sentencing hearing in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday sparking outrage.
32-year-old Franklyn Williams was convicted of three armed robberies, misusing credit cards and more in the suburbs of Cleveland. Throughout his sentencing, Williams refused to stop talking despite being warned more than a dozen times over the course of a mere 30 minute period. Since Williams refused to silence himself in the courtroom, interrupting the judge and even his own attorneys, Judge Russo ordered Williams’ mouth to be taped shut by six deputies.
Even after the red tape was applied across Williams’ mouth, he persisted in his attempts to continue speaking. Fed up with Williams’ refusal to comply with even this most basic of requests, Judge Russo angrily stated, “Mr. Williams, I’m the judge of the matter, shut your mouth, and I’ll tell you when you can talk!”
“You tryna take my life, and you not letting me tell you what’s going on,” Williams clapped back in rebuttal.
After Russo ordered the tape to be placed on his mouth, a deputy can be heard saying, “If you spit on, attempt to bite or injure any of my deputies, you’re going to have a bad day.”
“Just put the tape on me man and get it over with,” Williams said.
As Williams was in contempt of court, Russo was well within his legal rights to order Williams to be gagged in the courtroom.
Judge Russo defended the decision to Fox 8. “Everybody has the right to go on the record with my court reporter. But we can’t do it at the same time or yelling over each other. My intent was never to silence Mr. Williams,” said Judge Russo.