People v. Bryant

Decision Date15 January 1957
Citation166 N.Y.S.2d 59,5 Misc.2d 446
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of New York v. Henry BRYANT, Raymond Hyter, Defendants.
CourtNew York County Court

John M. Braisted, Jr., Dist. Atty., by Thomas R. Sullivan, Asst. Dist. Atty., St. George, Staten Island, for the People.

John F. Sottile, Staten Island, for Henry Bryant.

Norman C. Morse, Staten Island, for Raymond Hyter.

JAMES C. CRANE, Justice.

Oral application having been made by the District Attorney for an Order directing that the defendant, Henry Bryant, be handcuffed during the trial of said defendant in the presence of a jury on an indictment containing eleven counts, charging the defendants with the commission of the crimes of Assault First and Second Degree, Burglary First and Second Degree, Robbery First and Second Degree, Grand Larceny First and Second Degree, and Conspiracy, and the Court having directed on such application that a hearing be held and proof submitted in support of said application, and after taking testimony under oath in open court, I now find and decide as follows:

In approaching the problem presented, grave consideration has been given by this Court to the protecting of the Constitutional rights of both defendants to a fair trial, and to the freedom from restraint of the defendant, Bryant.

I have made a careful study of the law and the cases submitted to me by the District Attorney and Defense Counsel, and the provisions of Section 10 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

However, while the Courts in general in this country, and the common-law rule, frown upon and condemn the practice of shackling a defendant in a criminal trial, with or without a jury present, nevertheless the Courts have begun to recognize that in a proper case, and in the reasonable and sound discretion of the trial court such restraint may be ordered.

Thus, the question, for this exercise of reasonable discretion by the Court in the instant case is of paramount importance, and makes it incumbent upon this Court to state its reasons for its action in the premises.

In People v. Mendola, 4th Dept.1956, 1 A.D.2d 413, 151 N.Y.S.2d 278, reversed 2 N.Y.2d 270, 159 N.Y.S.2d 473, the Court laid down some indicia as to what might be a proper case for the exercise of this discretion. The Court stated 1 A.D.2d at page 415, 151 N.Y.S.2d at page 280:

'There are cases, De Wolf v. State, 95 Okl.Cr. 287, 245 P.2d 107; People v. Kimball, 5 Cal.2d 608, 55 P.2d 483, in which the trial court, in the exercise of a reasonable discretion, has properly ordered the defendant tried in manacles. But in each of those cases there was some imperative reason for the practice, and the necessity thereof was made to appear upon the record, frequently by the taking of testimony.

'The conduct of a criminal trial with the accused in manacles is highly unusual. Before a trial judge permits such a thing to be done, the necessity therefor should be shown clearly.'

There are other references in People v. Mendola, supra, 1 A.D.2d at page 414, 151 N.Y.S.2d at page 280, such as 'unless in exceptional cases where there is evident...

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 cases
  • Deck v. Missouri
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • May 23, 2005
    ...126, 134 N. W. 2d, at 357 (prison escape for which defendant was on trial sufficed to permit use of shackles); People v. Bryant, 5 Misc. 2d 446, 448, 166 N. Y. S. 2d 59, 61 (1957) (attempts to escape "on prior occasions while in custody," among other things, supported the use of restraints)......
  • State v. Crawford
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • April 3, 1978
    ...353 (1957); DeWolf v. State, 96 Okla.Crim. 382, 256 P.2d 191 (1953). For an illustration of such a hearing, see People v. Bryant, 5 Misc.2d 446, 166 N.Y.S.2d 59 (1957). The hearing, although informal, makes it possible for the alleged facts justifying restraint to be made a matter of record......
  • State v. Roberts
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court — Appellate Division
    • January 12, 1965
    ...(4). These rule provisions have as their source Federal Criminal Rule 12(a) and (b). Such a hearing was held in People v. Bryant, 5 Misc.2d 446, 166 N.Y.S.2d 59 (Cty.Ct.1957). Of course, where a defendant so conducts himself as to completely disturb the orderly process of the trial, as in t......
  • Petition of Hurd
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court
    • February 25, 1957
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT