Judges to decide whether to keep defendants in shackles

Rulings led to dramatic changes in Oregon and 8 other states bound by appeals court

A jail inmate (KOIN, file)
A jail inmate (KOIN, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Judges are making changes after two recent 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rulings said judges must evaluate defendants before they enter courtrooms in handcuffs and other restraints.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the rulings led to dramatic changes in Oregon and the eight other states bound by the appeals court.

Sheriffs, U.S. marshals and judges are clamoring to figure out the best way to adapt.

Many jailers must now evaluate inmates based on behavior and past record and make a recommendation to judges whether the defendant should wear in shackles in court.

In the past, federal marshals or county deputies made those decisions.

Starting Oct. 30, in the Oregon’s busiest court, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Nan Waller will preside over a new “restraints docket.”

In federal court, magistrate judges will make determinations ahead of the daily court schedule based on their review of a defendant’s background and recommendations from US marshals.