OH judge orders man’s mouth taped shut during sentencing

Lamar Ellis
August 5, 2018

A frustrated OH judge ordered police officers to gag the mouth of a convicted man with tape after warning him 12 times, to no avail, to stop interrupting. Franklyn Williams just began serving a 24-year prison sentence for his conviction on armed robberies and other charges.

After about a dozen warnings, Russo grew exhausted of the back-and-forth with Williams.

Williams continued to complain, claiming the judge was not letting him tell his side of the story. Deputies ended up wrapping red duct tape around his mouth.

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 says he plans to appeal his sentence. He had cut off his ankle monitoring bracelet and skipped town in the middle of his December trial. "This judge should be disbarred", said a third commenter.

Russo says he had the right to order this, something Williams clearly never expected. "More importantly when I was talking", Judge Russo told Fox 8 after the trial.

Later, the frustrated judge asked: "Does the comment, 'quit talking, ' do you understand that?"

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"I've had to silence him because of his disrespect for the system, his disrespect for the parties", Russo said.

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.

Russo proceeds to tell Williams that he would like to hear from the defendant's attorneys first and then will give him a chance to speak, but Williams continues to talk.

Moments later, explaining the court stenographer would not be able to keep up if Williams continued to argue over him, Judge Russo ordered his mouth sealed shut, the MailOnline reported.

Williams had originally admitted the crimes and was sentenced to 14 years. "Zip it until I give you a chance to talk". "That's what I was trying to tell them", Williams said.

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