Iowa Uses Stun Belt on Son with Asperger Syndrome-Cruel and Unusual Punishment-Torture

Mr. Davis:

I find it quite outrageous that Daniel sent us a letter saying that he had a bench trial instead of a jury trial recently on the habitual charges because he was wearing a stun belt which Amnesty International considers torture.  This was in Iowa city, Iowa.  The absence of a response from jail officials appear to make this a factual determination.  This is in Johnson County and happened under the jurisdiction of  Muscatine Jail.

ONE ILLINOIS COURT HAS SHOCK FOR DEFENDANTS; “STUN BELT” IS STANDARD WEAR IN JACKSON COUNTY.(METRO)
Article from: St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) | May 4, 2003 | Aguilar, Alexa | COPYRIGHT 2008 St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Hide copyright information) Copyright

Byline: Alexa Aguilar Of The Post-Dispatch

MURPHYSBORO, ILL. — Before Bryant Wright walked into a Jackson County courtroom here to stand trial on a burglary charge, a jailer told him he needed another item of apparel.

It was Jackson County’s “stun belt,” a device designed to deliver eight seconds of 50,000 volts of electricity, enough to knock a man to the ground and, in some cases, soil himself.

“I was so nervous during trial, I had never been strapped into something that could shock me,” Wright said. “I probably acted paranoid. I didn’t want to move.”

It is precisely that reaction that defense attorneys and Amnesty International cite in calling for abolition of the belt, in use in some states since 1991. Defense attorneys say it hurts a defendant’s chances for a fair trial, and Amnesty International calls it cruel. Image

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