Physical Restraints at Trial

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion.

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

State v. Ramsey, No. E2021-00266-CCA-R3-CD, p. 7. (Tenn. Ct. Crim App. Apr, 4, 2022).

[T]he decision to require physical restraints is left to the sound discretion of the trial court after considering a number of factors. Mobley, 397 S.W.3d at 99 (citing Willocks v. State, 546 S.W.2d 819 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1976)). In the event a defendant appears before a jury in shackles, the trial court must issue an instruction that the shackles should not influence the jury’s decision. Id. When a violation of due process due to shackling occurs, we must determine whether the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Thompson, 832 S.W.2d 577, 581-82 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991).  [Footnote omitted.]



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