Bloomberg Law
June 30, 2020, 11:33 PM

Shackles Prejudiced Jury in Murder Case, Sixth Circuit Says

Blake Brittain
Blake Brittain

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found on Tuesday that a Michigan state court’s shackling of a murder suspect during his trial unconstitutionally prejudiced the jury against him.

Although it was undisputed that Ervine Lee Davenport choked Annette White to death, there was conflicting evidence as to whether the killing was in self-defense or first- or second-degree murder. A jury found the killing was premeditated and convicted Davenport of first-degree murder.

During the trial, Davenport “had one hand cuffed, as well as shackles around his waist and ankles,” according to the circuit court’s opinion. Davenport argued his ...