> “If I’m sitting here, I’m no security threat,” Calvert said, according to court records cited in an appeal later filed by Calvert’s lawyer.
> “I’m not talking a security threat,” Skeen replied. “I’m talking about you listening to me.”
> Later, Skeen ordered Calvert to sit down and then, a moment later, to answer a question. When Calvert again failed to stand up to address the judge, an officer activated the device, according to court records.
So. This officer who activated the device. What happened to them? Have they been reprimanded? Criminally charged? Are they still given the ability to shock defendents in Smith County courts?
It could be argued that he was actively resisting by not standing.
That's "passive resistance" and the reason the term "actively" is specifically used.
If that's active resistance, what would an example of passive resistance be?
This could be solved quickly if we require the prosecutor and criminal lawyer or self represented defendant to agree on a judge before going to trial. If there are judges out there that very few of one side or the other is willing to agree to, those judges should be reviewed for making biased decisions and be at risk of losing their judgeship. Or we could pay judges by the number of cases they get and hope the ones who don't get many agreements will go away on their own.
This can be a workable system: Just require that the parties keep going if their first choice is not available. For example: we could have 6 judges at random and give each party 3 vetoes to get rid of judges they don't want. We could even just let the parties choose a judge and only have the court intervene when they are unable to select a judge who is available in a reasonable amount of time. I can almost guarantee that the fear of random choice will make most litigants cooperate to pick a good judge.
In any case, the current system of having old lawyers with almost no accountability be judges is wanting.
The problem is more with non-lethal weapons. If you don't really heavily regulate them, they're obviously going to be used to torture people into compliance, because that's what they are for. A taser electrocutes somebody until they cannot resist. Pepper spray causes so much pain people stop doing whatever they are doing. There's simply a very subtle distinction between using a torture device to stop somebody from doing something dangerous to themselves or others, and using it to stop them from doing something that's simply problematic or against the law.
Non-lethal weapons ask their users to make these distinctions every day, in stressful situations. If the job in general blurs the line, then you can expect their decisions to be equally blurry.
My choices are to escalate and spank or hit him. I've never done that.
He always hears what I say. In the moments of greatest conflict when I'm sure he is ignoring what I'm saying I know he hears it all, because he uses the same techniques on his sisters weeks later, verbatim.
These judges are in a position of power. What they say will be supported and enforced by the massive system all around them. These defendants might pretend to ignore it, but they will hear what is being said.
These judges want to make sure they are being paid respect, and are willing to do something barbaric to achieve that. But, worse than anything this is really stupid because they will provide an avenue for someone who might actually have committed a crime to find a way out. This is pure stupidity and arrogance on the part of the judges. They are putting their own arrogance over the due process of law.
"Torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."
Can anyone, devil's advocate or otherwise, argue that the use of these belts does not constitute torture under international law?
Whether the word still means "to receive a fatal electric shock" in spite of this common use is a question of semantics - whether you believe the dictionary ought to be prescriptive or descriptive.
Words mean things.
Just to be pedantic it was used just once. Not just once in that trial, but just once in that entire county.
The video of the shock is linked in the article. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYfzrof2g4o
It's much more jarring that just reading the description of the event. How can we organize our society to ensure these events are never incentivized to happen?
There doesn't seem to be an easy fix. The judge is at least partly conditioned by the environment they were raised in. The engineers fed their families with the income earned from building the pain belt.
It makes me wonder how I might be complicit in harmful consequences I can't predict. I'm wondering what actions I could take personally to avoid doing damage like this in the future.
MR. HAWKINS: YOU ARE GOING TO ELECTROCUTE ME FOR TALKING?
THE COURT: NO, SIR, BUT THEY WILL ZAP YOU IF YOU KEEP DOING IT. THE DEFENDANT ALSO ALLEGES THAT THE COURT HAS AN EX PARTE CONTACT WITH THE D.A. THAT IS NOT TRUE, AND I AM NOT AWARE THAT THIS DEPUTY D.A. —
MR. HAWKINS: THE TRANSCRIPT WILL REFLECT THAT.
THE COURT: ONE MORE TIME. ONE MORE TIME. GO AHEAD.
MR. HAWKINS: THAT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. (AT THIS TIME THE BELT WAS ACTIVATED.) * * *
MR. HAWKINS: I THINK YOU HAVE BEEN VERY UNFAIR. I THINK THESE ELECTRONIC SHOCKS TO ME WITHOUT DISPLAYING ANY VIOLENT BEHAVIOR — I THINK IT IS VERY IN-HUMANE ON YOUR PART.
THE COURT: SIR, THERE WAS ONLY ONE BECAUSE YOU REFUSED TO OBEY MY ORDER TO STOP INTERRUPTING ME. SO DON'T MISSTATE THE RECORD. THERE WAS ONLY ONE, NOT PLURAL.
MR. HAWKINS: BUT FOR A VERBAL INTERRUPTION, YOUR HONOR.
THE COURT: YES, SIR, THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT.
MR. HAWKINS: THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS THING IS DESIGNED FOR. YOU ARE OVERSTEPPING YOUR AUTHORITY.
THE COURT: NO. SIR, ANYTHING ELSE?
Hawkins v. Comparet-Cassani, 251 F.3d 1230, 1232 n.2 (9th Cir. 2001)
The judge should explicitly ask for order, then ask the bailiff to maintain order.
From what I read the judge didn't shock him, the bailiff did. So this seems like a loophole in the system.
Maybe the judge "nodded" at the bailiff? That would be bad if there is no real verbal order on record to sue over.
This seems like the beginnings of Mad Max or worse.
In particular I fail to see how Inquisition style corporal/pain punishment for verbal interruption meets constitutional requirement of not being "cruel and unusual".
"One flew over the cuckoo nest"... After administering 10 stuns the judge gets the right to lobotomize the defendant.
So, I wanted to know what happened to this person that ordered the shocks. Who's "THE COURT"? I assume the judge, but there are multiple judges listed in that document.
She retired in 2012: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-jul-23-me-6344-...
Also, that document suggest that this former sheriff was a co-defendant in that appeals case: https://tonyortega.org/2017/04/30/as-former-los-angeles-sher...
Maybe you meant the following link for the second:
It would only trigger if the person in question were to actually attempt to harm another and leave their designated area or if they somehow raised their voice higher than a set dB level (Dog barking shock collar type).
Obviously have manual override to turn it OFF when it malfunctions but do not let someone manually be able to turn it ON.
Not advocating for treating people like dogs, however this would be more reactionary to a situation rather than leaving the control be in the hands of a person who may make decisions based on personal preference or emotion.
It's like saying "I'm not racist but..." -- you are in fact advocating treating people like dogs.
There are other solutions to this, as evidenced by it being illegal in all of Europe and Europe and the United Nations pushing to make it illegal in the rest of the world.
Good luck if you ever need to go through a tunnel.
Ideally the judge, DA, etc would be also be equipped with stun cuffs and then members of the jury may activate them whenever unconstitutional behavior occurs.
A general, perpetual socioeconomic exemption
The bailiffs are supposed to be armed.
If something is common it doesn't get reported.
So from that you can learn that using these is very very very unusual.
Bizarre they want to live in an unceasingly horrifying place.
Chill, that's mostly because of the proximity to the countries directly affected by US foreign policy. For example, not that many people from non-'shithole' countries (to quote the president) want to come to the US. That's the health barometer you need to look at. At least in the US, for now, people aren't getting shot in the streets or hunted down by death squads. Yet.. And that's not a high standard to reach.
In fact, reading the appeal, the fact pattern looks very bad for the court. The man was shocked mid-sentence as he spoke while sitting down. There appears to have been no scuffle.
So I'm fairly convinced now, but no thanks to this article trying to be "persuasive."
It's amazing how effective corporal punishment is even past childhood years. Singapore has some of the lowest crime rates in the world, but act out there and you'll get a caning.