The video was broadcast by Fox8, and on it we see the defendant trying to defend himself when the judge said, “I’m the judge here. Shut up and I’ll tell you when you can talk. Including?”.
Afterwards, the judge told the accused that he would first like to listen to the lawyers, before letting him speak, but Williams continued to speak.
“You try to take my life, and you do not let me tell you what’s going on,” he said.
The judge again warns him, and lets him know that “if we must, I will gag you … You will have a chance to speak.”
In addition, the judge added, “Just shut up, you’ll have a chance to talk, I’ll give you a chance to talk.”
But the accused continued to speak, which angered Judge John Russo who ordered him to be gagged.
“I felt humiliated”
Shared on social networks, the video landed on the table of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio (ACLU), a human rights organization, who described as humiliating how the accused was treated.
“We can not consider that normal. It’s humiliating. It does not just deny that person the opportunity to talk before his life is taken away from him, it robs him of his dignity, “the organization said in a tweet.
“I felt so humiliated,” Franklyn Williams told Fox 8. “The judge did not allow me to say what I was trying to say in my case. He always stopped me before I could explain anything in my name. ”
For his part, Judge John Russo indicated that he did not intend to gag him but that the accused disrespected him.
The accused was finally sentenced to 24 years in prison for theft, kidnapping and misuse of credit cards.
"We cannot regard this as normal. It is humiliating. It doesn’t just deprive this person of the opportunity to speak before his life is taken away, it steals his dignity. Everything about this is wrong," said our staff attorney @elizabethbonham https://t.co/xsRRTkqRGg
— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) August 1, 2018