Florida Shackling Case Rejected

US District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks has tossed out a procedurally flawed lawsuit brought by Carey Haughwout, a public defender in Florida, who had hoped to force Palm Beach County juvenile court judges to abandon the practice of shackling young offenders when they face trial.

“Knowing those judges as I do, I suspect that the spectacle of children of differing ages and legal circumstance shackled together at their feet, hands and waist is disturbing,” Middlebrooks wrote in his ruling (cited by the Palm Beach Post). “I have little doubt but that these parties, with their excellent counsel, could reach substantial accommodation, particularly if called upon to do so by the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit or the Palm Beach Criminal Justice Commission.”

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