A judge in Ohio ordered a defendant’s mouth taped shut. The defendant, Franklyn Williams, was being sentenced on several felony charges. Williams was attempting to explain what had happened at his trial and felt the judge would not let him give his statement on the record.
We are not addressing whether Williams is guilty of the charges or not. It is the manner in which he was treated that is at issue. The extreme disrespect shown to a human being is the problem. Why did Judge Russo feel it was alright to tape an individual’s mouth shut? Where is that in the law? The judge says he never meant for things to go that far but still maintains that he had a right to do that.
According to Judge Russo he ordered the taping of the defendant’s mouth because the defendant showed disrespect for the legal system. This judge has a very warped idea of what disrespect is. Someone trying to defend himself is disrespect but taping a person’s mouth shut is acceptable? One has to wonder how he would feel if someone taped his mouth shut while he was trying to explain his actions.
The judge’s complaint of disrespect sounds very similar to the complaints about black football players taking a knee to protest excessive force by police officers. I believe they are accused of disrespecting the flag. Strange how it’s only minorities that are accused of disrespect. For more information read the article NBC 2 news article here.