Aug 25, 2014 Was Maryland judge justified in ordering electric shock for defendant’s not clamming up?
The saying goes that a party who represents himself or herself in court has a fool for a client. How many of those pro se litigants get electric-shocked by judicial order for not going silent when the judge says to stop talking?
Criminal defendant Delvon King certainly got shocked last month, purportedly for not quieting down when Charles County, Maryland, Judge Robert Nalley (Retired) told him to quiet down, and apparently without warning from the judge — beyond already having an electric shock mechanism attached to his body — ordered a courtroom deputy sheriff to shock Mr. King, to the point that Mr. King screamed in pain.
It sounds like more than just one judge could have gotten frustrated or worse with Mr. King’s insistence that he is a sovereign citizen not subject to the court’s jurisdiction. However, such assertions have been heard for years in courthouses, and irritation from pro se parties likely is all the more commonplace. Now, we have questions including the following:
– How much patience and restraint did Judge Nalley exhibit in ordering Mr. King shocked?
– What would have been the loss to anyone had Judge Nalley warned Mr. King — with sufficient advance notice — that he would be electrically shocked if he did not quiet down?
– Was it properly Judge Nalley’s decision rather than Mr. King’s between being shocked or bound and gagged (also shocking) — or some other sanction — if found to have violated the court’s oral order to stop talking?
I am very averse to the electric shock inflicted on Mr. King. Such judicial orders should be reserved for the rarest of instances, if at all.