People v. Panko, Docket No. 9203

Decision Date22 June 1971
Docket NumberDocket No. 9203,No. 3,3
Citation34 Mich.App. 297,191 N.W.2d 75
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Michael PANKO, Defendant-Appellant
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US

Philip R. Sturtz, Brisbois & Sturtz, Saginaw, for defendant-appellant.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Derengoski, Sol. Gen., George E. Thick, II, Pros. Atty., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before R. B. BURNS, P.J., and HOLBROOK and LEVIN, JJ.

HOLBROOK, Judge.

Defendant, Michael Panko, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for the county of Saginaw of the offense of breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny, contrary to M.C.L.A. § 750.110 (Stat.Ann.1971 Cum.Supp. § 28.305).

Defendant raises two issues on this appeal, alleging (1) error to the trial court for failure to declare a mistrial when he was handcuffed out in the hall or corridor from the courtroom preparatory to being returned to jail and (2) claimed error in supplementary instructions given by the Court to the jury at its request.

The pertinent facts in the record appear to be as follows:

At the first trial on September 9, 1969, after a jury was selected, the defendant was handcuffed and shackled while being removed from the courtroom in the presence of the jury. A motion for mistrial was made and without opposition by the people, the motion was granted and the case set again for January 13, 1970. On this latter date, the jury was impaneled and sworn and a recess was taken at 11:33 a.m. until the next morning. The defendant was handcuffed in the hallway by officers in preparation for returning defendant to the jail until the next session of Court in the morning. On January 14, 1970, a motion for mistrial was made by defense counsel in the following words:

'May it please the Court, yesterday afternoon when we adjourned for the day it came to our attention as defense for the defendant that when he was returned from the Court House that out in the hallways in view of the jurors he was shackled and handcuffed and we feel this would jeopardize the rights to a fair trial and we ask at this time for a mistrial to avoid any prejudice of the jury.'

The people's attorney then stated:

'If it please the Court, I think there is no question the defendant was shackled in the hall after the Court adjourned. I think there are several fact questions as to any impact this may or may not have on the jurors; whether they were there or saw this simply is a matter of speculation and I think right now before the Court that there is no evidence as such that any juror even saw it. Whether the Court sees fit to interrogate the jurors or whatever course, I wouldn't have any objection, but all we have is the fact that the man was shackled in the hall. If one of the jurors for example did see--I think one could be struck and the Court still purify. I think also a certain discretion is given the sheriff's department in a case like this with Mr. Panko's background, so we would oppose.'

There was no testimony taken as to whether or not there were jurors actually in the hallway at the time. Defense counsel did not request an inquiry to be made of the jurors. The Court denied the motion for a mistrial.

Although it is true that, except under extraordinary circumstances, a defendant is entitled to appear in Court without handcuffs and unshackled, People v. Shaw (1969), 381 Mich. 467, 164 N.W.2d 7, the rule does not extend to safety precautions taken by police officers when a defendant is taken back and forth between the courthouse and the jail. 21 Am.Jur.2d, Criminal Law, § 240, pp. 277, 278.*

The people mentioned the fact that the defendant's background required precautions to be taken. This was not contested by the defendant at the time of the motion for mistrial. Under the facts in this case, we conclude that there was no reversible error committed.

After the jury was deliberating for a time, a note from the jury was transmitted to the trial judge which read:

'Can we find the defendant guilty of innocent by the Michigan Section of the law only? Please reread this section.'

The jury was...

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6 cases
  • State v. Montgomery
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • December 7, 1976
    ...219 Pa.Super. 280, 281 A.2d 75 (Super.Ct.1971); Moffett v. State, 291 Ala. 382, 281 So.2d 630 (Sup.Ct.1973); People v. Panko, 34 Mich.App. 297, 191 N.W.2d 75 (App.Ct.1971). It is within the sound discretion of an officer charged with the custody of a person to place handcuffs or shackles on......
  • People v. Moore
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • January 21, 1988
    ...outside a courtroom to prevent escape. People v. Cleveland Wells, 103 Mich.App. 455, 459, 303 N.W.2d 226 (1981); People v. Panko, 34 Mich.App. 297, 300, 191 N.W.2d 75 (1971), lv. den. 385 Mich. 783 (1971). In addition, where a jury inadvertently sees a shackled defendant, there must be some......
  • State v. Jones
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court
    • October 22, 1974
    ...219 Pa.Super. 280, 281 A.2d 75 (Super.Ct.1971); Moffett v. State, 291 Ala. 382, 281 So.2d 630 (Sup.Ct.1973); People v. Panko, 34 Mich.App. 297, 191 N.W.2d 75 (App.Ct.1971). It is within the sound discretion of an officer charged with the custody of a person to place handcuffs or shackles on......
  • People v. Horn
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • May 15, 2008
    ...does not extend to safety precautions taken by officers while transporting a defendant to and from the courtroom. People v. Panko, 34 Mich.App. 297, 300, 191 N.W.2d 75 (1971). Further, when jurors inadvertently see a defendant in shackles, there still must be some showing that the defendant......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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