Talkative Convict Gets His Mouth Taped Shut During Trial on the Judge’s Orders | “Suffered the Ultimate Humiliation”
If you are convicted of some criminal activity, then you have the right to remain silent till your lawyers arrive or when you are specifically asked to speak at the court. But this defendant refused to zip his lips and kept chattering constantly even when the court repeatedly told him not to. According to UNILAD, John J. Russo, a judge at an Ohio court was not having any of defendant Franklyn Williams' nuisance when the man was produced at the trial on charges of burglary.
This was the second trial of Williams after he claimed that his lawyer did not explain his charges properly in the first trial which took place back in 2016. In the 2016 trial, Williams pleaded guilty to robbery charges and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. But when he appeared in the Ohio courtroom for his 2018 trial, the defendant had a lot to say in his defense. Annoyed by Williams' constant talking, Judge Russo ordered the bailiffs to duct tape Williams’ mouth shut.
“If you spit on, attempt to bite or injure any of my deputies, you are gonna have a bad day,” the judge sternly warned the convict. The duct tape managed to shut Williams up for the time being but he still continued to protest. As the footage captured by several news networks went viral on social media, many questioned whether Judge Russo was right for taking this unconventional step or not.
But a fellow judge that handled Williams’ case in the following years suggested that even though Judge Russo’s action was not the most thoughtful one but it was not unusual either. Afterward, Judge Cosgrove focused on the sentencing process rather than following up with the same decision as Judge Russo. "We cannot go back, only forward," Judge Cosgrove said. On the other hand, defendant Williams was left shaken by the incident at the court. "I suffered the ultimate humiliation. I was treated like a dog about to be put to sleep," he said, per the outlet.
"When you see a defendant sitting in a courtroom with his mouth taped, your first impression is, he must have killed someone,” Williams' lawyer blasted the previous judge for ordering Williams’ mouth to be taped. "He must have done something really, really horrible to be treated like an animal by someone who is supposed to represent justice and fairness." Despite all the courtroom fiasco, Williams was found guilty of his charges and was sentenced to 33 years in prison in 2019. Judge Russo had initially defended his actions and explained why he did that to Williams.
"Everybody has the right to go on the record with my court reporter. But we can't do it at the same time or yell over each other." Apparently, Judge Russo’s intention was never to silence Williams and he was given the opportunity to speak at an appropriate time. But the judge had issued an apology later saying that the action had "eroded the trust he had worked so diligently with others to build." Well, even though a defendant sitting in a court with his mouth taped shut might appear a bit funny to the onlookers, we must not forget that there are always two sides to a story.