In Atlanta, Brian Nichols, 6 feet tall and a couple hundred pounds, was being escorted by a female officer, without cuffs, into court for his rape trial, when he grabbed her gun, shot her, the judge, the court reporter and, later, a deputy and a Customs agent.
Why wasn’t he wearing handcuffs? Because “studies” have shown that jurors are “unfairly influenced” when a person on trial is wearing handcuffs. The “study,” it can be safely assumed, was conducted by somebody who doesn’t have to sit anywhere near defendants in rape and murder trials.
A jury wasn’t even seated in the courtroom when the cuff-free Nichols snapped, so there are still a lot of unanswered questions. The answers to which will probably contain a phrase such as “self esteem maintenance.”
After the shootings, Nichols fled and was later captured. At his next trial, Nichols will be accompanied by much more security than before. PC will perhaps, again, dictate that he not be cuffed. Instead, Nichols will be surrounded by a dozen heavily armed officers and six attack dogs – anything to avoid the sight of handcuffs unfairly influencing the jury.
By the way, the shootings occurred after Nichols, just a day earlier, tried to smuggle two homemade knives into the courtroom. The next day, still no cuffs.
Political correctness is nothing new to those places where the PC disease is terminal – the large college campus, and anywhere in the public sector. Quite often, level of stupidity in political correctness is so high that it’s comical. This time, it’s anything but. When PC strikes the college campus, young minds are poisoned. When PC strikes the public sector, including the courtroom, people can get killed.
How will this shooting be handled? Right now, roundtable meetings are taking place. These shootings are being studied in detail, and politicians and activists of all sorts are putting the heat on the FBI, police, security experts and others to find ways to prevent this from happening in the future – without cuffing defendants. Leave it to the bearers of political correctness to remove the cuffs from criminals, and tie the hands of everybody else.
There are two ways to address situations such as this: Business as usual, or a reassessment of procedures. From the PC end of things, it will be “business as usual.” This tragic incident will not change how defendants are treated in court. From a procedural standpoint, what will happen is a call for more funding for holster technology research.
Police and security holsters have two or three separate steps involved in order to remove a weapon. Brian Nichols obviously was familiar with these steps, or else the weapon wasn’t properly secured by the security officer.
Defendants will not be cuffed in court, but the holsters will be made so tough to get into that the officer will need a masters in physics and 15 minutes in order to remove the weapon. An unfortunate lesson throughout history, however, is that scumbags are often a step or two ahead of the rest of us on some issues. Nowhere does the old phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” apply more than to desperate criminals, who will figure out how any holster works before many officers are able to.
Good luck now finding jurors for Nichols’ next trial who haven’t heard of this story, not to mention ones who are going to want to be in the same room with him when he’s not wearing handcuffs.
A dangerous person in court, not wearing handcuffs so it won’t “influence the jury” may have the reverse effect, and actually be detrimental to the defendant. PC bureaucrats, civil-rights leaders and liberal lawyers need to understand that (pause for laughter).
Brian Nichols wasn’t handcuffed, and he’s killed people as a result. In a politically correct quest to not influence a jury, the jury in Nichols’ coming trial has been greatly influenced – and not in a good way for the likes of Mr. Nichols. So, for those who think that no cuffs in court is more fair for the defendant, consider this: Brian Nichols now faces the death penalty, instead of 20 or so years for the original crime, and four people are dead. Would making him wear handcuffs to, in, and from court have been better for him, or worse for him?
PC do-gooders assisted Brian Nichols in ruining what was left of his life, and gave him the means to destroy many others – all in the name of “fairness.” I’m sure the families of the victims will thank them for caring.