A frustrated Ohio judge has apologized for ordering a man in his courtroom be duct-taped, but only after the fallout of his decision went viral on social media. Judge John J. Russo says armed robbery defendant Franklyn Williams would not let his lawyers speak on his behalf and kept interrupting and disrespecting his courtroom. But in retrospect, Russo now feels the situation could have been handled differently.
In retrospect, while there is legal precedent for gagging a defendant to keep order in a court, I apologize for taking that action last week,” Russo said in a statement to the court, according to WEWS.
“My decision to end your outburst came after I had exhausted every other attempt to restore order to a hearing you continuously impeded. Despite many warnings for you to stop your frequent and offensive outbursts — I believe it was over 60 interruptions in 54 minutes — you continued to interrupt and hinder the legal procedures of the court, procedures that are designed to protect your rights, the rights of your victims and the justice system,” Russo reportedly continued. “It escalated to the point that, that as a judge, it was my responsibility to take control of the hearing.”
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