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Michigan Supreme Court to consider rule changes on restraints, redactions

 The Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court / Court.Mi.Gov
The Michigan Supreme Court

A rule about the use of restraints on defendants in Michigan courts will be among a handful of proposed changes discussed at a hearing next month.

The proposed amendment would keep defendants from appearing before a jury in restraints like handcuffs, chains, and straitjackets, without a documented purpose.

It would apply to felony and misdemeanor cases.

The Michigan Supreme Court has rulemaking power for the state's court system. It will decide whether to adopt the changes.

One justice has written in support, saying the issue of shackling comes down to the legal principles of presumed innocence, right to counsel, and to a dignified legal process.

Opposing justices say a US Supreme Court ruling on the matter only prevents the jury from seeing restraints on a defendant.