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Man's Mouth Duct-Taped Shut Twice as He's Sentenced in Ohio Courtroom

Man's Mouth Duct-Taped Shut Twice as He's Sentenced in Ohio Courtroom

An Ohio courtroom displayed a flagrant abuse of power when a judge ordered deputies to tape a defendant's mouth shut.

Franklyn Williams, 32, was charged with a slew of crimes, including aggravated robbery, theft, kidnapping, misuse of credit cards, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Angrily, the judge responded, "Mr. Williams, I'm the judge in the matter".

Williams continues to talk, and Russo orders for Williams' mouth to be taped shut, according to the video.

Two pieces of tape were put on by deputies.

During the first, Williams pleaded guilty and was sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

Six sheriff's deputies walk up to Williams and as Williams tries to get up, one of the officers is shown forcing him back down.

"At this point, I'm going to hear from your lawyers, and that means zip it", said Russo.

"So my intent today was never to silence Mr Williams".

He told Williams: "I'm gonna tape it and then I'll unzip it when I want you to talk". "You'll get a chance to talk".

Video filmed inside the court shows Williams speaking as Ruso repeatedly tells him to be quiet, Fox8 reports.

Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo drew some national attention this week thanks to the picture above. Williams complained about authorities removing his possessions from his cell, and just meeting his attorney "the other day", but Russo said this was brought up at the wrong time.

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.

But the thief, who was convicted for three armed robberies, wouldn't pipe down.

After the incident, Williams spoke to reporters, and said he had a reason why he wouldn't be quiet.

The ACLU of Idaho at the time declined to comment on specifics, but said "on one hand judges have a right to keep order in their court and on the other the defendants have a right to assist in their own defense and be present at trial".

Some have queried whether gagging the defendant was allowed in court, but Russo claims it was completely legal for him to gag the defendant and found previous cases to support his actions.

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