Deck v. Missouri
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 04-5293
Forcing a defendant to proceed through the penalty phase of his capital murder trial while shackled and handcuffed to a belly chain in full view of the jury violates the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth Amendments; common law, international law and convention require that all defendants be treated with a dignity that is commensurate with the presumption of innocence during trial and axiomatically during their penalty trials before the jury in a capital case; since a number of states count “future dangerousness” as an aggravating factor in capital cases, chaining up a defendant during his penalty trial effectively compels him to be a witness against himself in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination and due process clauses and denies him the opportunity to confront himself as a witness against himself in violation of the Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause.
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