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Criminal Procedure

Judge Orders Defendant’s Mouth Taped Shut

Posted Jan 6, 2012 5:59 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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A Pennsylvania judge ordered a man’s mouth taped shut by sheriff’s deputies for repeatedly disrupting jury selection for his trial.

The unusual order came after Erik Britt, who was acting as his own attorney during the pre-trial hearing for assaulting a prison guard, ignored Judge Timothy Creany's warnings to stop interrupting the court hearing to say his free speech rights were being violated and complaining of racism, the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat and the Associated Press report.

The judge eventually halted the hearing after Britt continued to make outbursts despite the heavy, red tape across his mouth and around his head, according to the Tribune-Democrat. A mental health evaluation has been ordered.

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